Three years after negotiations began, China and South Korea have officially signed a free trade agreement. Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng and South Korean Commerce Minister Yoon Sang-jick signed the document in Seoul on Monday, with President Xi Jinping and Park Geun-hye sending letters expressing support and commitment to the deal. Meanwhile, Chinese researchers say the new free trade agreement with South Korea represents “a higher level of trade liberalization and market opening” than any other free trade agreements negotiated by China. An unnamed South Korean official appeared to agree and told Yonhap that the free trade agreement with South Korea showed that China “accepted its market and opened it up to international standards.” “Moreover, South Korea is a liberal democracy and it is incompatible with China, while there is still a very large reservoir of goodwill and ties with the United States,” he said.
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