Go to contents

Beijing’s rude attitude toward South Korean leader

Posted December. 15, 2017 07:57,   

Updated December. 15, 2017 08:52


South Korean President Moon Jae-in met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday (local time) during his state visit to China. The summit was held in 29 hours and 55 minutes after President Moon arrived in Beijing. On his first day in the Chinese capital, Moon did not meet with any of the seven members of Politburo of the Communist Party of China, who are leading government figures. To say nothing of Chinese President Xi who was in Nanjing to attend a memorial ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, even Premier Li Keqiang, who spent a day in Beijing doing daily affairs, including an agricultural report, sent Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli to the Korea-China Business Forum attended by the South Korean leader. The host is not just being negligent, but being rude, to say the least.

In the meantime, two South Korean photojournalists covering Moon’s visit to Beijing were beaten and injured by Chinese security personnel on Wednesday. One photographer was seriously assaulted by more than 10 Chinese guards. Further investigation is needed to figure out whether the guards have been hired by the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), the South Korean organizer, or by the Chinese police. The guards may have been employed by the private security company, but were still accountable to the Chinese law enforcement, in charge of managing and supervising security of the event. The overbearing manner of the Chinese police department of General Office of the Communist Party, which is in charge of the safety of the Chinese leadership, overseeing the security of state guests, is deemed to have eventually caused the incident.

It is hard to say that Beijing’s mistreatment of the South Korean leader is a sheer coincidence and the unprecedented violence occurred by accident. China sent Assistant Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou to the airport to greet President Moon upon his arrival in Beijing on Wednesday. Moon’s conservative predecessor Park Geun-hye was greeted by a higher official, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui. Looking back on Xi Jinping’s attitude when he met with former South Korean Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, who served as Moon’s special envoy to china, on May 19, as if he was meeting with Hong Kong’s chief executive, Beijing has an apparent intention of taming the new South Korean government.

China’s neighborhood diplomacy promotes friendship, good relationship and embracement, but they are all talk. Beijing threatened the Philippines for a territorial dispute, by saying that it would not hesitate to wage a war. It also imposed a ban on import of Norwegian salmon because Chinese civil rights activist Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. China’s highhanded behavior ignoring international diplomatic standards should not be accepted any more. The Chinese leadership must ponder on why such a power has no countries to be called friends.