Blinken's support for 'healthy and mature' China-South Korea ties 'a sophisticated diplomatic parlance' with hidden US' agenda: experts
Published: Jun 18, 2023 09:33 PM
China South Korea Photo:VCG

China South Korea Photo:VCG

Relations between China and South Korea should not be affiliated to their respective relations with the US, and this is the basis for the stable development of bilateral ties, Chinese experts noted, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly said he supports South Korea's efforts to develop a "healthy and mature" cooperative relationship with China.

Blinken, before his arrival in Beijing on Sunday for the highest-level visit by an official of President Joe Biden's administration, discussed bilateral relations, relations between China and South Korea, and North Korea in a call with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin on Saturday, Reuters reported.

Blinken also had a call with Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa the same day. During the calls, he discussed the importance of sustained US-South Korea-Japan trilateral cooperation in advancing economic prosperity in the so-called Indo-Pacific and in strengthening the rules-based international order, according to the US Department of State.

The calls aim to highlight the US' leadership in its alliance system, Dong Xiangrong, a senior fellow at the National Institute of International Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday. She pointed out that there had been precedents before for the Biden administration to do so as they also visited Japan and South Korea before the talks between the US and Chinese senior officials in Alaska in March 2021. 

Blinken's reported support toward South Korea's so-called "healthy and mature" cooperative relationship with China is in fact a sophisticated diplomatic parlance that sounds very political correct but actually contains a hidden US agenda that is encouraging South Korea's current strategy shift to get closer to the US, Chinese experts pointed out. 

The US is clear about the reason why China-South Korea relations have worsened since President Yoon Suk-yeol took office, they said.   

After assuming power, the Yoon administration has tilted toward Washington too quickly and aggressively, producing knock-on effects that will take a long time to digest and alleviate, Dong pointed out. 

As China and South Korea are two neighbors important to each other, their bilateral relations should have no connection to each country's relationship with the US, and this is exactly the basis for the steady development of Beijing-Seoul ties, Dong noted.

The call between Blinken and Park came amid the diplomatic spat between China and South Korea that was triggered by South Korea's hyping of Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming's remarks in a statement on June 8 saying those who "bet on China's loss" in its rivalry with the US "will definitely regret it." 

The South Korea Foreign Ministry summoned Ambassador Xing on June 9 over the remarks. In response, Assistant Foreign Minister Nong Rong met with Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to China Chung Jae-ho on June 10 to make démarches. 

Nong Rong elaborated China's views and position on the current state of China-South Korea relations. Nong expressed the hope that South Korea will conduct an in-depth reflection on where the problems lie in China-South Korea relations and treat them seriously, earnestly uphold the spirit of the China-South Korea Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, and work with China to make positive efforts to promote the sound and stable development of bilateral relations, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.