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Art of the South Korea-China summit

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By Lee Seong-hyon

In early April, the government said, "As soon as the coronavirus situation stabilizes, we have decided to push forward Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Korea to an early date." The announcement came after a meeting of the foreign ministers of South Korea and China in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen.

Xi's visit to South Korea falls in the realm of diplomatic negotiations and political decisions between the two countries. As a result, the possibility of the visit remains open. However, from an analytical perspective, there are also some factors that may make it difficult for the summit to materialize. Here are some observations that support this rationale.

First, China tends to withhold new diplomatic initiatives with South Korea when the President of Korea enters the fourth year in office. It is because she or he enters the supposed "lame duck period." China waits for the next South Korean government. China displayed this pattern during the Lee Myung-bak, as well as the Park Geun-hye, administrations. Park's term was prematurely terminated due to her impeachment.

The Korean Constitution stipulates that the president serves a single, five-year term. It is difficult to ensure the continuity of diplomatic........

© The Korea Times

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