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S. Korea needs sophisticated strategies to cope with U.S.-China tensions: Experts Updated: 2020-08-22 10:05:10 KST

China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi will sit down with Blue House national security adviser Suh hoon on Saturday.
The issues they're expected to discuss include the stalled inter-Korean talks and the soured economic ties with Beijing since Seoul's deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system.

"South Korea would want China to do some kind of role to push North Korea come out to dialogue between North and South Koreas. Also, I think South Korea would ask China to revive the economic relationship between China and South Korea."

China is likely to push South Korea to not side too closely with the U.S., forcing Seoul to walk a tightrope in the geopolitical power struggle between Washington and Beijing.

"From China's perspective, the Korean peninsula is a very important buffer zone and might not want the Korean government to be on the side with the United States. Now, the U.S. is asking many countries, including South Korea, to come together with U.S., ally with the U.S."

As both the U.S. and China are key partners for South Korea on many fronts, from politics and security to the economy, Seoul will have to follow a sophisticated strategy.

"Obviously if we go against the U.S., then we're self-denying our principles of ideology and values that we have been holding for the past 75 years. So, I think it's rather an easy choice for the short term. But in the long term, we have to come up with a better strategy to accommodate both China and the U.S."

Experts point out that Seoul needs a balanced approach to maintain its own interests.

"Triangular relationship is difficult to manage but you have to rebalance between the two. ()To do that, we have to listen from both sides, not only China and the U.S., but within domestic politics. We have to be bipartisan with our national interest."

As this is Yang's first trip to South Korea in two years, all eyes are on what will be discussed during the visit,including the issue of Chinese President Xi Jinping's potential visit to Seoul this year.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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