Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong had a phone call with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the night of the 9th.

This was done ahead of President Moon Jae-in's participation in the G7 summit.

Immediately after the phone call, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and China issued a related announcement at the same time.

Korea "continue communication for Xi Jinping's visit to Korea"...

China is not mentioned

The first thing that stands out is the content of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Korea.

"Recognizing that high-level exchanges are important for the deepening and development of South Korea-China relations, the two ministers agreed to continue communicating for President Xi Jinping's early visit to Korea as soon as the situation is ready after the situation is stabilized," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. .

However, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcement does not include this content.


And not just this time. Even after the ROK-China foreign ministers' meeting in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China on April 3, Minister Chung Eui-yong said, "President Xi Jinping's visit to Korea will be pushed forward as soon as possible as soon as the COVID-19 situation stabilizes. He also said that the two countries agreed on President Xi's early visit to Korea. China did not mention anything about President Xi Jinping's visit to Korea at this time.



In this regard, there is an interpretation that Xi's visit to Korea was not mentioned again in the announcement because the two countries had already reached a consensus through several consultations. Earlier, China also announced that it would “promote President Xi Jinping’s visit to Korea as soon as the COVID-19 situation improves,” and on the 26th of last month, President Moon Jae-in held a meeting with five party representatives to share the results of the Korea-US summit. We will push forward once the corona is stabilized," he reconfirmed.



On the other hand, there are also interpretations of whether there has been a subtle change in China's position. The objection, 'If there is already a consensus, how difficult would it be for China to put a single line in the announcement' is also based on this. Chinese Ambassador to Korea Xing Haiming responded to a question about President Xi Jinping's visit to South Korea on the 26th of last month, saying, "The corona virus is still not stable and there are various problems." "I'm sorry," he said. At first glance, it was read to the effect that there are other considerations besides the corona situation. Ambassador Xing Haiming said that until November of last year, " When the corona situation stabilizes, President Xi Jinping will be the first foreign country to visit Korea."



In this regard, Il-hyeon Moon, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, analyzed, “It would have been difficult to make an official announcement on the issue of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Korea due to mixed opinions in China.”

Professor Moon said, "China puts the highest priority on the prevention of the corona virus, and it appears that some leaders in charge of quarantine are putting the brakes on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' policy to expand exchanges with foreign countries."

When President Xi Jinping visits a foreign country, many delegations will move together, but if there is a problem with quarantine, who is responsible?

It is for this reason that Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with foreign ministers in a province of China other than Beijing, and said that there is an internal atmosphere that it is premature to talk about something that goes against the quarantine guidelines.



Professor Moon also explained that with less than a year left in President Moon Jae-in's term, China wants to choose a time when there is no controversy in Korea as the time to visit Korea.

It means that there is a view that it is not appropriate to talk about President Xi Jinping's visit to Korea now.

China "Speaks to South Korea of ​​its firm opposition to US-led strategy"

China's foreign ministry did not mention President Xi Jinping's visit to South Korea, but instead reported that Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed his opposition to the US-led Indo-Pacific strategy to Minister Chung Eui-yong. “The Indo-Pacific strategy pursued by the United States is full of Cold War thinking, instigating a collective confrontation, and is not conducive to regional peace and stability,” Wang Yi told Minister Chung of his position, saying, “China firmly opposes it.” I did. "China and South Korea must maintain the right position as friendly neighbors and strategic partners and maintain a political consensus," he said. China's Foreign Ministry also reported that Minister Chung Eui-yong said, "Korea adheres to the 'one China' principle and is fully aware of the sensitivity of cross-strait relations (China-Taiwan relations)." This was not mentioned in the announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, which was released on the night of the 9th.


In addition, 'Let's develop bilateral relations ahead of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Korea and China' and 'Let's make efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula' were included in the announcements of both countries.



Each country has its own diplomatic priorities, and the important issues are bound to be different. Therefore, it is natural that the content of the announcements on the same diplomatic activity is different. Judging by only the announcements made by China after the recent phone call between the two foreign ministers, it can be seen that at this point, China is more concerned about the US check on China than President Xi Jinping's visit to Korea. While warning South Korea not to join the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific strategy, President Xi Jinping's visit to Korea seems to have sent a message that it is a matter to be decided later.

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