Not long ago, South Korea hosted a major meeting of senior diplomats from China and Japan. It was a unique opportunity for the three countries to talk about their concerns about Seoul and Tokyo’s growing security cooperation with the US. At this meeting, there were also plans to bring back a long-running trilateral leaders’ summit that had been put on hold for a while.
The background for this development is that South Korea is trying to strengthen its ties with both the US and Japan. This is mostly because North Korea is constantly testing banned weapons and trying to get closer to countries like Russia. During a historic summit in Washington, D.C. in August, South Korea, Japan, and the US marked a “new milestone” in their work together. These close allies have also done regular military drills together.
Key Participants in the Meeting
The meeting on Tuesday was attended by China’s Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Nong Rong, South Korea’s Deputy Foreign Minister Chung Byung-won, and Japan’s Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Takehiro Funakoshi. They had earlier talked with Park Jin, the foreign minister of South Korea. He stressed how important it was for them to work together and urged them to make real progress that would help the people of all three countries.
Beijing is likely to use trade cooperation between three countries as a way to balance out the US’s “friend-shoring” strategy. The goal of this approach is to make things better between Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo. Tong Zhao, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the United States, says that this cooperation will include a number of important parts.
First, it wants to improve interactions between people from the three countries. This can include different kinds of cultural, educational, and economic exchanges that help people understand each other and work together.
Second, Beijing wants to improve talks and communication with both Seoul and Tokyo, especially when it comes to defense and security issues. To build trust and deal with security issues effectively, you need to be able to talk to each other.
Shared Interests and Building Trust
Japan and South Korea both want to keep their security relationship with China stable and avoid any conflicts. North Korea’s nuclear development program, which is very important for the region, is something that both countries are very worried about. People see Beijing’s help in slowing down or even stopping North Korea’s nuclear plans as a possible area where they can work together.
Tong Zhao stresses that these shared interests give the three countries chances to communicate strategically, take steps to boost trust, and work together to avoid crises.
Key people from each country, including South Korea’s Deputy Foreign Minister Chung Byung-won, Japan’s Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Takehiro Funakoshi, and China’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Nong Rong, got together on Tuesday to talk about these important issues.
Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, talked about how close these three countries are geographically and how important it is for them to work together because it’s in their best interests.
Trilateral Summits History
Notably, the trilateral summits that started in 2008 had to be put on hold in 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a fight between Tokyo and Seoul over issues related to Japanese colonial rule and World War II.
It is important to note that China is a key player in the international situation on the Korean Peninsula as North Korea’s main trading partner and ally. This meeting is a diplomatic move to ease concerns about regional security.