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Beijing-Seoul ties after Xi's Pyongyang visit

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By Lee Seong-hyon

There are some qualitative differences in the way China treats South Korea since Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to Pyongyang. The visit to Pyongyang, which took place in late June, itself was a significant event in Sino-North Korea ties; China signified it was raising its stake in the geopolitical dividends of the North Korea nuclear matter. Interestingly, without any public announcement, China's dealings with South Korea have since also shown a nuanced shift.

First, the Chinese side did not highlight the THAAD issue in various academic and policy meetings between Seoul and Beijing. The majority of Chinese participants also underscored that the discord has yet to be fully resolved.

The Chinese side expressed concerns over the possibility of additional THAAD battery deployment by Washington to U.S. military bases in South Korea. China's new 2019 Defense White Paper included a clause about THAAD. "The U.S. has severely destroyed the strategic balance of the region by deploying the THAAD system in South Korea, and inflicted severe damage on the strategic security interests of the regional countries," it said.

To sum up,........

© The Korea Times