Chinese local governments ramp up Korea visits to revive economic ties

Xin Changxing, left, secretary of the Jiangsu provincial committee of the Communist Party of China, shakes hands with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo at the Government Complex Seoul, Thursday, amid a rise in visits from Chinese local government offcials to Korea. Yonhap

Chinese local governments have recently ramped up their visits to Korea in an effort to bolster economic ties and attract foreign investment, business insiders said.

This surge, especially evident since March following the announcement of the Korea-China-Japan leaders’ summit in May, indicates the strategic moves by China’s local governments as local growth there is mired in heavy debts and post-pandemic economic slowdowns.

The latest visit saw Xin Changxing, secretary of the Jiangsu provincial committee of the Communist Party of China, meeting with officials in Seoul last week, including Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, to discuss promoting intercity exchange and cooperation.

The dialogues are crucial in terms of resuming contact, but Chinese governments need to show more concrete efforts to woo increasingly cautious Korean investors, according to Federation of Korea-China Chairman Park Seung-chan.

“Officials often come and say that China has opened up much more deeply, that they have all the hard powers and the general incentives, but they are not addressing the most important concerns,” Park, who is also a professor at Yong In University, said.

Park was a former adviser for the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency on the China-Korea free trade agreement (FTA).

“If a company is to invest or set up factories in a Chinese city, how would local authorities help connect and align resources? Would they help come up 온라인카지노 with an incubation plan? How would the government help the business grow? What kind of supporting assistance would be provided?” he said.

“These detailed implementation measures are lacking.”

According to Park and others familiar with the matter, an average of eight to 10 delegations from Chinese provinces have visited Korea each month since the news broke in March about the resumption of the Korea-China-Japan trilateral summit, up from three to four visits from Chinese localities monthly at the beginning of 2023, shortly after China reopened its border.

These delegations, formed by provincial and city-level authorities from Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong and Hainan, among others, which have close economic ties with Korea, attended business forums and investment meetings, aiming to rejuvenate local economies and attract international collaboration.

From May 29 to 31, China’s Hainan Province Governor Liu Xiaoming also visited Korea at the invitation of Jeju Governor Oh Young-hun, meeting with key officials and business leaders, attending the 19th Jeju Forum and the Seoul Hainan Free Trade Port Promotion Conference

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