China, Japan and South Korea Hold First Diplomatic Summit Since 2019
Nations Try To Revive Trilateral Cooperation
SEOUL -- Diplomats from China, Japan, and South Korea held a meeting in Seoul on Tuesday, with the aim of revitalizing trilateral cooperation. This gathering marks their first attempt to restart a trilateral summit since 2019, amidst diverging diplomatic approaches amongst the three countries.
Earlier this year, both South Korea and Japan have strengthened their ties with the United States, their shared ally, further straining their relations with China. However, signs of renewed contact between Beijing and Seoul have emerged.
South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his serious consideration of visiting Seoul during a meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo in Hangzhou, China, just before the opening ceremony of the Asian Games.
Chinese President Xi's potential visit carries significance as he last visited South Korea in 2014, while the current South Korean President, Yoon Suk Yeol, has yet to make a trip to China.
Yoon has focused on aligning with countries that share democratic politics and free trade, resulting in strained relations with China. Beijing appears to interpret Yoon's pro-U.S. stance as aligning with Washington against China's influence in Asia.
Changes in the economic landscape may be prompting the two sides to reinforce bilateral ties. Recent data revealed a considerable decline in South Korea's semiconductor exports to China, indicating a potential impact from China's economic slowdown on neighboring export-oriented countries.
This apparent shift in China's stance coincides with the elevated trilateral cooperation between South Korea, the U.S., and Japan, as well as the increasing arms deal between North Korea and Russia.
The current sentiment in South Korea leans toward deepening its alliance with the U.S.
As China, Japan, and South Korea convene in Seoul, this meeting serves as a crucial step toward reviving trilateral cooperation. The outcome will shed light on the prospects for regional stability and diplomatic relations in East Asia.