President Moon Jae-in visited Peking University in Beijing on Dec. 15, the third day of his official state visit to China, to deliver a speech. To an audience of more than 300 professors, faculty members and students, President Moon spoke under the theme of Energetic handshakes and the future of prosperity that Korean and Chinese youth share together.

Among the figures who left a significant legacy in Korean modern history is one who attended Peking University. Independence fighter Lee Yoon-jae studied history here and defended the Hangeul alphabet against Japanese imperialism, bringing a ray of light to the people under colonization, said the president.

He mentioned Joseon scholars Pak Je-ga and Hong Dae-yong who maintained what he called a cheonaejigi (????) relationship, a four-character Chinese idiom that means special friends who are close despite being physically distant, among Chinese scholars.

Currently such a cheonaejigi relationship between the Korean and Chinese peoples has increased tens of thousands of times. In Korea, about 68,000 exchange students have come from China to study, while the number of Korean students in China has reached more than 73,000, the president said. Calling exchange students both in Seoul and Beijing the driving force for the future ties between our two countries, President Moon stressed that, You are the ones that have a strong challenging spirit, more so than anyone else, with a drive to rise beyond your own nation onto the global stage.

The president brought up the Myeonggyeonmanri (????) book that he read on summer vacation this year. It featured a part about Chinese youth who lead the so-called 3.0 Era.

I know Chinese youth dare to start businesses without fear and don't get easily frustrated by failure. Their challenging spirit has led to global corporate giants such as Alibaba and Tencent.

He went on to say that, China is the hub of the fourth industrial revolution, including drones, virtual reality and AI. If young people of Korea and China, who have infinite potential to work together in fields where they have their own competitive edges, the two countries could draw a map to help the world prepare for the fourth industrial revolution.

The establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries 25 years ago is not something that came overnight. Looking forward, the next 25 years, in which both countries will march together, require our effort and passion, he said.

You here today are the ones that will make it happen. The challenging spirit that you have to explore unknown paths will bring forward a new era for us.

Source: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism