Wang Yi’s Visit and China’s Geopolitical Calculus on Korea
[Current Issues & Policies] No. 2020-34 (December 2020)
Dr. LEE Seong-hyon
Director of the Center for Chinese Studies,
The Sejong Institute
As the Chinese government put it, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi received “rich results” during his visit to South Korea. China’s most important achievement is to secure a good opportunity to advance regional cooperation in Northeast Asia under the leadership of China without the U.S. intervention. South Korea and Japan have promised to cooperate in joint responses against the COVID-19 with China. In addition, Seoul promised to push for bilateral and trilateral economic cooperation initiatives, including the second phase of the ROK-China FTA as the foremost task, the ROK-China-Japan FTA and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). For the past four years, the Asian alliance of the U.S. with South Korea and Japan has been challenged by the Trump administration’s policy. China’s instinct to watch for an opportunity to pull along the U.S. allies toward China has been maintained for quite some time, and finally China has proposed “disease control” and “economy” as keywords for the Korea-China-Japan cooperation. In other words, China has “designed” a framework for cooperation in Northeast Asia in the absence of the U.S.
▶ For a full article in Korean, please follow the link:
※ 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.