China media flags trade talks launch with South Korea's Lee

BEIJING - China will offer visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak the prospect of launching trade pact negotiations in the coming months, Chinese state-run media said on Monday, holding out closer economic ties as a means to narrow political distrust.
Lee arrived in Beijing on Monday for talks with President Hu Jintao and other leaders, and the China Daily said the two sides are looking to start negotiations for a three-way free trade agreement including Japan, and a separate two-way China-South Korea trade agreement.
An unnamed source from China's Ministry of Commerce told the paper that the China-South Korea bilateral trade pact talks "will probably start in the first half of the year."
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