Sejong, Dec. 24. (Yonhap) — A high-level diplomatic meeting held earlier this week between South Korea and China discussed a range of geopolitical issues related to Sino-US relations and the Taiwan Strait, an official said Friday.
Yesterday, South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun and his Chinese counterpart, Li Yucheng, held the first “strategic dialogue” in more than four years, as South Korea finds itself in another position. And more sensitive against the background of the intensification of China – the US rivalry.
“(Geopolitical questions) were raised by the Chinese side when presenting its view and position regarding US-China relations,” a State Department official said under the cover of “anonymity.”
The official was responding to a question about whether Washington’s policy toward Beijing or the Biden government’s Indo-Pacific strategy had been discussed during the virtual meeting.
Seoul grapples with several sensitive political questions, including whether or not to send a government delegation to the Beijing Winter Olympics after Washington’s decision to boycott it diplomatically.
The Chinese side also referred to the security agreement concluded by the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom earlier this year to supply Australia with a nuclear-powered submarine. The deal is seen as part of efforts to stem China’s increasing maritime assertiveness.
“China explained this issue broadly, not in detail, when it talked about how it assesses the current global situation,” the official noted.
Beijing has harshly criticized the trilateral agreement, dubbed “Ocos,” as forming a naval “clique”, and warned that it would only exacerbate the arms race in Northeast Asia and undermine global efforts to combat nuclear proliferation.
The official said the South Korean side has expressed interest in playing a role in helping promote cooperation between the two superpowers.
On North Korea, the official said Seoul hopes Beijing will play a “constructive role” to help Pyongyang return to the negotiating table.
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