COVID-19 Pandemic and Strategies for the ROK-China and the ROK-Japan Relations
[Current Issues and Politics] No. 2020-03 (March 20, 2020)
Dr. JIN Chang Soo
Director of the Center for Japanese Studies
Recent crisis related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has unsealed silenced discord in the ROK-China and the ROK-Japan relations as accumulated problems start to burst out. The international order after the COVID-19 crisis will inevitably change. The U.S. and China will compete more fiercely against each other, and, as a result, other East Asian countries will strive to find own ways for one’s survival. The Northeast Asian regional order will be volatile. South Korea, in the end, will face more difficult international environment for its diplomacy. If Seoul, even at this point, desires to create “the regional order that involves South Korea,” improvement of the ROK-China and the ROK-Japan relations is essential. In other words, Seoul and Beijing, at first, must step away from having excessive expectations or worries and deal with each other calmly on a realistic level. Furthermore, Seoul and Tokyo should consider the ROK-Japan relations with a wider perspective and carry out pragmatic diplomacy for cooperation among the Northeast Asian countries.
※ Translator’s note: This is a summarized unofficial translation of the original paper which was written in Korean. All references should be made to the original paper.
※ This article is written based on the author’s personal opinions and does not reflect the views of the Sejong Institute.