South Korea hosts Japan, China as US allies try to reassure Beijing

SEOUL, Sept 26 (Reuters) – South Korea hosted an unusual tripartite meeting of senior diplomats from China and Japan on Tuesday, aimed at allaying Beijing’s concerns over tight cooperation between the two U.S. allies and Washington. Had to do.

The meeting aims to set the stage for the resumption of trilateral summits between the countries’ leaders, which were last held in 2019. The talks were suspended amid legal, diplomatic and trade disputes between Seoul and Tokyo. 1910-1945 Occupation of Korea.

South Korean President Yoon Seok-yul and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have since taken steps to improve ties and held a historic trilateral summit with US President Joe Biden in August, where the three discussed defense and economic security. Committed to promote cooperation including

China has been active in seeking trilateral cooperation and arranging meetings since relations between Seoul and Beijing soured in 2017 over the deployment of the US THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea, a senior South Korean government official said.

“I believe there must be some discomfort on their part regarding our increasingly close trilateral security partnership with the US and Japan,” the official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. “There seems to be a need for them to properly manage bilateral relations with us, because they saw how their THAAD response raised anti-China sentiment to serious levels.”

Tong Zhao, senior fellow, said Beijing is likely to balance its strategy of preserving US friendship, promoting people-to-people exchanges and communication and dialogue on security and defense issues with Seoul and Tokyo. will try to use trilateral trade relations to increase The US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

He added that Japan and South Korea are interested in avoiding conflict and maintaining stable security ties with China, and Beijing’s help in halting, if not slowing, North Korea’s extensive nuclear development program. He added.

“These shared interests open up new avenues for strategic communication, confidence-building, and measures to prevent crises,” Zhao said.

Trilateral summits are traditionally attended by China’s premiers, but South Korea is also pushing for a separate visit by President Xi Jinping.

Japanese broadcaster TBS reported that South Korea is the host of the trilateral meetings this year and proposed a trilateral summit in December during Tuesday’s talks.

The latest meeting included South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Chung Byung-won, Japan’s Senior Vice Foreign Minister Takehiro Funakoshi and China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Nong Rong.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a briefing on Monday that China, Japan and South Korea are close neighbors and important cooperative partners, and strengthening trilateral cooperation is in their common interests.

Reporting by Josh Smith and Hyunhee Shin in Seoul; Additional reporting by Liz Lee in Beijing; Written by Josh Smith; Edited by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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