I agree with “It should not be a stumbling block”, but the difference in position is clear
If the US-China strategic competition intensifies and North Korea advances its nuclear program, it may appear at the forefront of bilateral relations.
As South Korea and China confirmed differences in positions on the issue of THAAD (high-altitude missile defense system) at a foreign ministers’ meeting held in Qingdao, China on the 9th, it is possible that this issue will remain as a primer for bilateral relations in the future.
A Foreign Ministry official familiar with the contents of the meeting said, “Basically, both the foreign ministers of the two countries have expressed their respective positions on THAAD in depth and clearly,” said Foreign Minister Park Jin and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
“At the same time, both the Chinese and South Korean sides nevertheless clearly agreed that this issue should not become an obstacle to the future development of Korea-China relations,” the official said.
The expression ‘clearly expressed their positions’ on THAAD is read to the effect of reconfirming what the Yun Seok-yeol administration and the Chinese government authorities have revealed.
First of all, the South Korean government has consistently maintained that THAAD is a response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, not China.
In addition, it was decided to normalize the THAAD base, which has been temporarily deployed since the inauguration of President Yoon Seok-yeol in May, while the Moon Jae-in government announced that the THAAD 3 dollar (without additional deployment of THAAD, US missile defense) was made. It has been revealed that the ROK-U.S.-Japan military alliance without participating in the system was merely a statement of position, not an agreement or promise between the two countries.
On the other hand, China has never changed its position that THAAD is a ‘dagger’ used by the US to contain China militarily.
In the midst of this, “a new official cannot ignore the old ledger” (July 27, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian) has been demanding the maintenance of 3 dollars of THAAD.
It seems that Minister Park and Director Wang expressed this position to each other.
In addition, the issue of restricting the operation of the so-called ‘THAAD One Han (限)’, that is, the operation of the THAAD already deployed in Seongju, remains a point of disagreement between the two countries.
China is known to have demanded restrictions on the operation of THAAD, insisting on the fact that the THAAD X-band radar can detect its own country amid intensifying strategic competition between the United States and China.
In November 2017, the Global Times affiliated with the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, argued, “The ‘one Han’ limiting the operation of THAAD is the most significant line that South Korea must take to eliminate the threat to China.”
According to diplomats, it is known that China is still not giving up its demands to restrict the operation of THAAD.
In an editorial on the 9th, the Global Times argued that “THAAD is a wedge that the United States is trying to drive into Northeast Asia” and that “Korea should never accept a knife handed to them by a friend (USA)” was interpreted in a similar vein. .
In the end, even if the Yun Seok-yeol administration does not advance to the additional deployment of THAAD, as promised during the presidential election, there is always a possibility that a conflict between Korea and China over the normal operation of THAAD will arise.
However, the two sides seemed to agree on the destructive power of the issue, as the official explained that the two sides “clearly agreed that the THAAD issue should not become an obstacle to the development of South Korea-China relations in the future.”
Nevertheless, it is not possible to rule out the possibility that the THAAD issue will again come to the fore in Korea-China relations at any time due to the further worsening of the US-China conflict due to the intensification of the US-China strategic competition and the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
In addition, Minister Park said at the meeting that “we will seek cooperation with China in the spirit of harmonization in accordance with national interests and principles.”
Hwaibudong means ‘harmony but not the same’, and there is a subtle difference between ‘gudongjonyi’ (求同存異, seeking unity but keeping differences), which has been used as an idiom to express the relationship between Korea and China. there is
It can be said that Hwayibudong emphasizes recognition of ‘their differences’ a little more than Dongdongjonyi.
In other words, it is interpreted as an expression consistent with the ‘mutual respect’ emphasized by the Yun Seok-yeol administration in Korea-China relations.
In addition, the mention of Huaibudong reflects a cold-hearted perception of the reality of 30 years of South Korea-China relations, which have frequently encountered walls in the political and security areas, such as the response to the North Korean nuclear issue and the THAAD conflict, while achieving dramatic economic and people-to-people exchanges since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1992. seems to be
This is interpreted as the purpose of achieving harmony while acknowledging differences rather than forcing the pursuit of equality in areas where it is difficult to be equal.
This also seems to have nothing to do with the Yun Seok-yeol administration’s ‘value diplomacy’ orientation.