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Korea Drifting Closer to China, Further from Japan and US
Shifting Politics
Korea Drifting Closer to China, Further from Japan and US
  • By Sara Rai
  • June 23, 2014, 10:15
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A reproduction of Rigobert Bonn’s decorative map of East Asia, created in around 1770. This work of art is in French, and outlines the major cities, lakes, and riverways of China, Korea (Corea), Japan, and Formosa (Taiwan).
A reproduction of Rigobert Bonn’s decorative map of East Asia, created in around 1770. This work of art is in French, and outlines the major cities, lakes, and riverways of China, Korea (Corea), Japan, and Formosa (Taiwan).

 

Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China who is scheduled to visit South Korea July 3 to 4, took actions to strengthen the cooperation between China and Korea by reiterating the Chinese government’s commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. On the other hand, the cooperation among Korea, Japan, and the US is becoming destabilized because Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, is nullifying sanctions towards North Korea and altering the Gono Dialogue.

Yang Jiechi, the State Councilor of the People’s Republic of China in charge of diplomacy, said, “China is looking at how problems can be solved through the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, protection of peace and safety, and communication and negotiation,” in his keynote speech at the 3rd World Peace Forum held in Tsinghua University, Beijing on June 21. He also said, “Relevant countries should make continuous efforts to create conditions to resume the six-party talks for denuclearization and achieve long-term peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.”

This remark draws particular attention because it represents China’s new perspective of security, which Xi proposed at the summit of the 4th Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai last month.

State Councilor Yang said, “China has always insisted on wholesome and stable improvement of the relationship between the two countries on the basis of four political documents and the reflection on history,” and “We hope that Japan takes sincere effort to improve the China-Japan relationship,” asking for a change in Japan’s attitude towards past cruelty.

While China and Korea are working together for denuclearization and Japan’s past cruelty, which results in stronger cooperation, the cooperation among Korea, Japan, and the US is becoming more and more destabilized.

Prime Minister Abe’s self-centered decision is damaging cooperation by nullifying the sanctions towards North Korea to improve the relationship between North Korea and Japan, and ordering to reexamine the Gono Dialogue, while it announces its policies to continue it on the outside.

As the Japanese government announced the result of the re-examination of the Gono Dialogue, it said, “There was an amendment of content between the Korean and Japanese government during the process of writing the Gono Dialogue.” A Mainichi Shimbum editorial stated, “There might be an intention of Abe to reexamine the dialogue when he asked for verification of it. He had been skeptical about the Gono Dialogue.”

The announcement of the Japanese government is expected to create some diplomatic disturbance between Korea and Japan. The US has also begun to express its concern over Abe’s actions. For some time, the relationship between Korea and Japan is expected to worsen, and the political world is watching on how Korea and China will take actions together.

Especially as the Korea-China Summit comes up early next month, the political world is more sensitive than ever. Until now, the U.S. had maintained order in Northeast Asia through the cooperation of Korea, Japan, and the U.S., but as the cooperation between Korea and China is becoming stronger, the U.S. is concerned that China will have a bigger influence on Korea. But spectators say that the US will not be able to stop Abe’s actions, since reductions in the U.S. defense budget will give room for Japan’s regional security to expand.