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Seoul will not tolerate Beijing’s high-handed words and actions

Seoul will not tolerate Beijing’s high-handed words and actions

Posted June. 13, 2023 08:56,   

Updated June. 13, 2023 08:56

The Korean government's policy toward China is changing to a hardline stance that it will not sit idle by on China's high-handed diplomatic rhetoric and attitude following the controversy over the remarks made by Chinese Ambassador to Korea Xing Haiming. It seems that the government, which believes that the "China risk," in which the Chinese government's words and actions are going too far, is in full swing, is making its policy direction toward China abundantly clear.

The government placed its focus on "diplomacy that builds people's pride" as the central theme of public relations. “We will no longer sit idle with China’s high-handed or disrespectful words and actions,” a key government official said on Monday. "The goal of Korea’s policies will be more clearly laid out in a way that will not compromise the pride of the people." The presidential office believes that the “low-profile diplomacy” exhibited during the former Moon Jae-in administration is behind the soaring anti-China sentiment, especially among the younger generation. An official from the presidential office said, “(Former President Moon’s) remarks about China as a ‘high peak’ shattered people’s pride, and that turned into hostility toward China.”

The government plans to actively “derisk” (risk-free) by reducing its dependence on China in relation to key items in the supply chain. Accordingly, it is reported that the current supply and demand levels of items with a particularly high dependence on China, such as key battery materials including anode materials, are being precisely ascertained.

Regarding high-level exchanges between South Korea and China, the government’s stance is “We are open, but we will not rush.” "Even if the Korean government proposes a high-level meeting between Korea and China, China is eluding the issue by citing the United States," a key Korean government official said.