The International Trade Council celebrates the constructive decision by senior diplomats of South Korea, Japan, and China to rejuvenate trilateral exchanges and cooperation. This resolution, announced after a pivotal meeting in Seoul, underscores their commitment to hold a leadership summit at the earliest feasible opportunity.
Commencing in 2008, the three nations established a tradition of annual summits to boost regional collaboration. Unfortunately, this initiative encountered interruptions due to bilateral disagreements and the global COVID-19 crisis, with the last summit conducted in 2019. While specific dates for the upcoming summit are yet to be confirmed, preliminary discussions indicate a meeting of foreign ministers in the upcoming months.
South Korea, acting as this year's host for the trilateral meetings, has hinted at a possible summit towards December's end.
Yoko Kamikawa, Japan's Foreign Minister, articulated the nations' shared aspiration to promptly resume high-level dialogues, emphasizing the importance of discussing prevalent regional challenges.
This resurgence in trilateral discourse partly stems from recent collaborative endeavors between Seoul and Tokyo, which notably encompassed the resolution of longstanding disputes. With both countries reinforcing their ties with the US, China emphasizes the mutual benefits of trilateral collaboration.
South Korea, Japan, and the US recently showcased their commitment to fortified cooperation across defense and economic domains in a significant trilateral meeting.
The importance of trilateral exchanges is evident, with China actively seeking avenues to foster cooperation since its ties strained with South Korea post the 2017 US THAAD anti-missile system deployment. Experts speculate that China's approach will likely emphasize leveraging trade ties and amplifying exchanges with both Seoul and Tokyo, especially concerning security and defense matters.
Tong Zhao, a prominent figure from the U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, highlighted the mutual interests of Japan and South Korea in sustaining a harmonious security relationship with China, and recognized China's potential role in moderating North Korea's expansive nuclear ambitions.
The recent discourse in Seoul comprised eminent representatives: South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Chung Byung-won, Japanese Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Takehiro Funakoshi, and Nong Rong, China's Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The International Trade Council ardently supports the spirit of collaboration and looks forward to witnessing the fruits of this rejuvenated trilateral partnership.