China – South Korea bilateral summit was held in Seoul on 3 July 2014. The summit was held between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping. It was held during the Chinese President Xi’s first visit to South Korea since he became the President in 2013.
During the summit, both the Presidents agreed to push for the denuclearization of North Korea and issued a Joint Statement.
The Main Highlights of the Joint Statement
Other Highlights of Joint statement
The issue of Joint Statement by China and South Korea on denuclearisation of North Korea has put an symbolic weight to the issue. However, it fell short on how they would pursue that goal mainly on account of difference in both the countries approach towards the issue.
On the one hand, South Korea wants to use “all means" possible approach to bring denuclearisation. On the other hand, China stressed "dialogue and negotiation" approach.
Besides, Xi's decision to visit South Korea before North Korea is seen as a calculated rebuff that spoke of the strained relationship between North Korea and its historic and most important ally China.
Also, China is being pressured by international community to use its leverage to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions. However, China remains wary of penalising the N Korea too heavily. This is because any regime collapse in N Korea would result in a unified Korea with a US troop presence on its border.
The larger issue which seems to flow from Xi's first visit to S Korea is the China's response to the US "pivot to Asia" and the battle between the two major powers for regional influence. China is currently South Korea's largest export market and two-way trade stood at around 275 billion US dollars in 2013.
However, China wants to move beyond economic ties and promote political and security links. This leaves Seoul with a difficult balancing act, given its historic military alliance with the United States.
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What: Held bilateral summit
When: 3 July 2014