According to South Korea’s News1 news agency, the new U.S. government is about to take office, and observers say that South Korea may face the so-called “selection pressure between China and the United States”.
In this context, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s speech of “valuing the alliance” has attracted much attention. On the morning of January 18, Moon Jae-in held a “2021 New Year Press Conference” at the Spring and Autumn Hall of Qingwatai to answer reporters’ questions about the “Ideenment of the development of Sino-South Korea relations”.
According to South Korean media reports, Moon Jae-in first said: “I believe that with the new U.S. government coming to power, the inter-Korean dialogue and the inter-Korean dialogue have begun to have a new turn.
The dialogue should inherit the achievements of the Trump administration and continue to develop forward… The progress of all stages should be mutually cooperate and transform each other. Successes and failures of the Trump administration in the past are lessons learned, and I believe that if the Biden administration starts the North Korean-US dialogue in a new stance, it will certainly achieve good results.”
South Korean media analysis said that when U.S. President-elect Biden took office, there was widespread analysis in the diplomatic community that the United States would ask South Korea to join the “anti-China front”.
President-elect Biden described South Korea as the “core axis” of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region during his first call with Moon Jae-in last November, which has also attracted much attention.
In particular, the so-called “Biden-style anti-China” is different from Trump, which puts coalition and multilateralism at the forefront on the basis of “America first”, so it is also believed that it will put more pressure on South Korea.
When asked how to develop Sino-South Korean relations, Moon Jae-in replied: “For South Korea, South Korea-United States relations and Sino-South Korea relations are very important.
South Korea-US relations are developing towards a comprehensive alliance. For South Korea, China is the largest trading country and should cooperate to enhance peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Regarding the visit of the Chinese leader to South Korea, he said: “I pushed forward once last year, but it failed to achieve it due to the coronavirus epidemic.
If the epidemic stabilizes this year, we will continue to work hard to realize the visit to South Korea as soon as possible for the development of China-South Korea relations.
At the same time, South Korean media pointed out that Kurt Campbell, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, who was recently nominated by Biden as the coordinator of Indo-Pacific Affairs of the White House National Security Council (NSC), advocated that the content of the United States’ “siege strategy” should also be reconsidered.
In an article published in the American Foreign Affairs journal on the 12th of this month, Campbell mentioned the need to expand the so-called “Ten democracies” (D10) in the economic field and the “Quad” in the military field, saying that China’s rise will be contained through “customized alliances”.
The report pointed out that whenever the possibility of choosing pressure from both is raised, the South Korean government has always emphasized “balanced diplomacy” that takes precedence over national interests.
However, if the United States puts more pressure, from the standpoint of South Korea, which is more dependent on the Chinese economy, it may encounter the limitations of “wire-walking diplomacy”.
This is also the reason why the view that Moon Jae-in’s government’s diplomacy is facing a test is continuous.