Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeWorldAsiaChina, South Korea and Japan to hold first summit since 2019

China, South Korea and Japan to hold first summit since 2019

China announced on Tuesday that it had agreed with Japan and South Korea to hold a summit “as early as possible” after senior diplomats met in Seoul, according to AFP.

The countries organised the trilateral talks to ease Beijing’s concerns over Washington’s deepening security ties with Tokyo and Seoul. Beijing, represented by Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, described them as “in-depth discussions on promoting the stable restart of cooperation.”

It was agreed that carrying out cooperation between China, Japan and South Korea is in the common interests of the three parties.

The last such summit was held in 2019. Since then, the countries have not held official meetings due to diplomatic and historical disputes between Seoul and Tokyo, partly related to Japan’s colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin has emphasised that their cooperation “plays a significant role not only in Northeast Asia but also in the peace, stability, and prosperity of the world.”

He further noted that the three countries “account for 20 per cent of the world’s population and 25 per cent of the world’s GDP.”

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is trying to mend ties with long-time ally Washington amid a growing threat from nuclear-armed North Korea. Seoul is also seeking to strengthen ties with Tokyo, which is also a close ally of the United States.

In August, they announced the start of a “new chapter” of close trilateral security co-operation after holding a historic summit at Camp David in the US. Beijing filed a complaint over a statement issued at the summit criticising China’s “aggressive behaviour” in the South China Sea.

China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, is also North Korea’s most important ally and economic benefactor.

While Tokyo, Seoul and Washington are conducting joint military drills against the growing North Korean threat, Beijing recently sent senior officials to attend Pyongyang’s military parades.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that China claims Taiwan as its territory, promising to one day seize it “by force if necessary.” Washington, a key ally of Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo, has cited 2027 as a possible timeline for an invasion.

In April, South Korea’s President stated that tensions over Taiwan stemmed from “attempts to change the status quo by force”. In response, Beijing lodged a protest, which Seoul condemned as “serious diplomatic impoliteness.”

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