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Yoon's China policy 'founded on S. Korea-U.S. alliance': Chinese scholar

All News 14:43 June 24, 2022

SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) -- The Yoon Suk-yeol administration's policy toward China appears to be "founded on the South Korea-U.S. alliance," a Chinese scholar said Friday, alluding to geopolitical obstacles to improving relations between Seoul and Beijing.

Zheng Jiyong, professor of Fudan University, was speaking virtually at a peace forum co-hosted by Yonhap News Agency and the unification ministry, as Seoul and Washington seek to step up security cooperation amid North Korea's military threats, China's assertiveness and Russia's war in Ukraine.

"The Yoon government's China policy appears to be one that is founded on the South Korea-U.S. alliance," Zheng said, suggesting relations between the South and China are affected by Seoul's policy priority on the alliance.

The professor enumerated a set of Seoul's recent policy moves that he said worsened ties with Beijing. They included its push to expand cooperation with the U.S.-led security forum, Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, and its recent participation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework seen as a drive to counter China's regional influence.

Zheng also pointed out that the Yoon government is apparently employing a two-pronged policy line of "tactical cooperation" and "strategic containment."

"South Korea may strengthen the alliance with the U.S. step by step and gradually, and increase its strategic containment vis-a-vis China," he said, warning an "encirclement" strategy against China would touch off its resistance.

Zheng Jiyong, professor of Fudan University, delivers a presentation at a peace forum in Seoul co-hosted by Yonhap News Agency and the unification ministry in Seoul on June 24, 2022. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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