South Korea is hosting top Chinese and Japanese diplomats in a rare meeting on Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said. On Tuesday, representatives of the three countries will explore ways to strengthen their cooperation ties. They will also discuss the possibility of re-establishing a summit at the highest level between China, Japan and South Korea.
The last such summit was held in 2019 in Chengdu, western China.
Beijing, North Korea's main ally
The upcoming tripartite talks are seen as an attempt to assuage Beijing's concerns about the rapprochement between Washington, Tokyo and Seoul. Faced with the North Korean nuclear threat, South Korea, led by Yoon Suk Yeol, a conservative advocating firmness towards Pyongyang, has notably intensified its military cooperation with the United States.
At the same time, it has moved closer to Japan, after their relations have long been weighed down by old disputes inherited from the period when the South Korean peninsula was under Japanese colonial yoke. Tokyo, Seoul and Washington have since held joint military exercises, provoking the ire of Pyongyang.
In August, at a summit at Camp David near Washington, bringing together Japanese and South Korean leaders alongside Joe Biden, Yoon said the meeting opened a "new chapter" in relations between the three countries. Beijing, Seoul's largest trading partner, is also North Korea's main ally.