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China warns South Korea not to politicise economic issues


BEIJING, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Chinese Foreign Minister
Wang Yi warned his South Korean counterpart on Sunday not to
politicise economic and tech issues as the two prepared to meet
Japan’s top diplomat on the sidelines of a trilateral meeting
aimed at boosting cooperation.

“China and South Korea have become cooperation partners with
highly integrated interests and highly interconnected production
and supply chains,” Wang told South Korean Foreign Minister Park
Jin, according to a Chinese foreign ministry readout.

“Both sides should jointly resist the tendency to politicise
economic issues, instrumentalise science and tech issues, and
the broad securitisation of trade issues.”

South Korea has sought to avoid becoming embroiled in a
tit-for-tat row between China and the United States over
semiconductors.

The U.S. last month granted Samsung Electronics (005930.KS)
and SK Hynix (000660.KS) permission to supply U.S. chip
equipment to their China factories indefinitely, ending a
conundrum for the world’s two largest memory chipmakers.

“China is willing to jointly promote the restart of revamped
trilateral cooperation with South Korea and Japan,” Wang said on
Sunday.

While China and the United States have been mending frayed
ties, including a summit this month between Presidents Xi
Jinping and Joe Biden, Beijing is concerned that Washington and
its key regional allies are strengthening their three-way
partnership.

Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul had agreed to hold summits every
year starting in 2008 to bolster diplomatic and economic
exchanges, but the plan has been blocked by bilateral rows and
the COVID-19 pandemic. Their last trilateral leaders’ meeting
was in 2019.

The three foreign ministers are gathering in the port city
of Busan, also the first such meeting since 2019. In September,
senior officials from the three countries agreed to arrange a
trilateral summit at the “earliest convenient time”.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime
Minister Fumio Kishida have taken steps to repair ties strained
by history and trade feuds, and held a historic trilateral
summit in August with Biden.
(Reporting by Laurie Chen; Editing by William Mallard)



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