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S. Korea's Chief Diplomat Heads To China After Pres Yoon Snubs Pelosi

SOUTH KOREA

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin will visit China next week for talks with his local counterpart Wang Yi, Yonhap News Agency reports.

  • "Park plans to leave for the eastern port city of Qingdao on Monday in his first trip to China as Seoul's top diplomat. He is reportedly scheduled to hold talks with Wang on Tuesday. The two sides opted to meet there instead of Beijing due to COVID-19 concerns, according to a source."
  • This comes after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol skipped the opportunity to meet with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in person during her stay in Seoul. While his office said it was due to a pre-scheduled holiday, many observers suggest that Yoon was merely trying to avoid antagonising Beijing.
  • Worth noting that leaders of all other nations visited by Pelosi during her East Asia trip opted to hold face-to-face talks with the Speaker, including those who chose to remain on the sidelines of the Sino-U.S. spat over Taiwan.
  • For all its diplomatic merits, the strategy of striking a balance between the U.S. and China may cost Yoon a further drop domestic approval ratings, which are already near/at historic lows, given that he won the election as a security hawk signalling support for closer defence ties with the West.
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South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin will visit China next week for talks with his local counterpart Wang Yi, Yonhap News Agency reports.

  • "Park plans to leave for the eastern port city of Qingdao on Monday in his first trip to China as Seoul's top diplomat. He is reportedly scheduled to hold talks with Wang on Tuesday. The two sides opted to meet there instead of Beijing due to COVID-19 concerns, according to a source."
  • This comes after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol skipped the opportunity to meet with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in person during her stay in Seoul. While his office said it was due to a pre-scheduled holiday, many observers suggest that Yoon was merely trying to avoid antagonising Beijing.
  • Worth noting that leaders of all other nations visited by Pelosi during her East Asia trip opted to hold face-to-face talks with the Speaker, including those who chose to remain on the sidelines of the Sino-U.S. spat over Taiwan.
  • For all its diplomatic merits, the strategy of striking a balance between the U.S. and China may cost Yoon a further drop domestic approval ratings, which are already near/at historic lows, given that he won the election as a security hawk signalling support for closer defence ties with the West.