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Tuesday May 21 2024

China, Japan and South Korea looking to hold summit in May, reports say

10 April 2024 18:30 (UTC+04:00)
China, Japan and South Korea looking to hold summit in May, reports say

South Korea is in talks with China and Japan to host a three-way summit in May, Japanese and South Korean media reported, restoring a process that has been on hold since 2019 due to the pandemic and political tensions, Azernews reports, citing Japantimes.

South Korea, which would likely host the long-delayed event, is looking to hold the summit in late May, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported Friday, citing a government source it did not name. Kyodo News reported earlier the meeting could be held next month and discussions are set to touch on economic cooperation and regional issues — citing diplomatic sources it did not name.

The office of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol reiterated it has been in discussions for the three-way summit when asked about the reports and the Foreign Ministry in Seoul said it would release a date for the event when one has been set. South Korea has been pressing for months to resume the summit and foreign ministers from the three agreed in November to push for a meeting. But momentum has slowed since then.

Japan’s top government spokesman, Yoshimasa Hayashi, told reporters Friday that Tokyo would work with China and South Korea for a summit.

The three-way discussions could follow a summit set for next week in Washington where Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is due to meet U.S. President Joe Biden. Their talks are likely to address mutual concerns about China’s assertiveness in the region, securing supply chains for key items such as semiconductors that are less dependent on Beijing as well as the security threats posed by North Korea.

China has been feeling pressure as Japan and South Korea have been moving closer to Washington in recent years, with the three raising their security cooperation to some of their highest levels. Beijing, meanwhile, has clashed with the United States over a range of issues.

Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke by telephone Tuesday, their first one-on-one communication since meeting in California last November. The leaders of the world’s two biggest economies have managed to maintain a veneer of diplomatic stability despite mutual suspicion between the countries and as their governments pursue export controls, sanctions and tariffs.

The U.S. and its partners have been pressing China to use its influence on North Korea to rein in Kim Jong Un’s nuclear ambitions. Beijing has been Pyongyang’s biggest benefactor for years and called on Washington to press for peaceful developments on the Korean Peninsula.

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