Japan, South Korea, China start trilateral meeting in Seoul

Japan, South Korea, China start trilateral meeting in Seoul

CHINA presented a five-point proposal to strengthen ties with Japan and South Korea as the three Northeast Asian neighbors sat down for a rare summit delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and political differences.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang met South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Seoul for the rare summit.

The annual meeting was perceived as a positive sign in improving diplomatic relations as the neighboring Asian countries face economic uncertainty in the wake of global tensions and shifting geopolitics.

China urged Japan and South Korea to reject “protectionism” and uphold free trade amid deepening security cooperation between Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington.

Chinese Premier Li expressed his country’s uneasiness about Japan and South Korea’s deepening security partnership with the U.S., which Beijing sees as an attempt to form a bloc to contain China.

He also asserted China’s opposition to turning economic and trade issues into political games or security matters.

President Yoon and Premier Li agreed to hold diplomatic talks involving senior diplomats and defense officials from South Korea and China in mid-June.

Meanwhile, the summit was overshadowed by North Korea’s announcement of its plan to launch its second spy satellite into orbit between May 27 and June 4.

The three nations also discussed the situation in Taiwan and agreed to speed up negotiations toward the signing of a three-way free trade agreement and work together to strengthen supply chains.

The next round of trilateral summit will be hosted by Japan.

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