Chip 4, ‘3 Nos’ complicate Korea-China ties

Chip 4, ‘3 Nos’ complicate Korea-China ties


Pelosi visit another ticking bomb for bilateral relations

By Kang Seung-woo

Korea is at a critical juncture over its ties with China as it faces increasing pressure to choose a side amid the intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry, with any decision potentially causing further uncertainties in bilateral relations.

Currently, Korea has been asked to respond to the U.S. invitation by the end of August to participate in the envisaged strategic alliance of four global chip powerhouses that also includes Japan and Taiwan, also known as the Chip 4 or Fab 4, a platform apparently aimed at countering China`s growing influence in global supply chains.

In addition, Beijing has urged Seoul to stick to the previous Korean government’s commitment to the “Three Nos” policy on the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) deployment, which called for no additional THAAD deployment, no Korean integration into a U.S.-led regional missile defense system and no trilateral alliance with the United States and Japan.

Foreign Minster Park Jin admitted during the first interpellation session of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration at the National Assembly, Monday, that the U.S. had proposed a preliminary conference on the chip alliance.
“We have yet to make a decision on whether to participate in the platform,” he said during a session at the National Assembly in Seoul.

“Comprehensive Consideration Based on National Interests” Chung Jae-hung, a research fellow at the Sejong Institute, said that between South Korea and China, there are troubling issues that could seriously affect bilateral relations. Said there was a problem.

“In the midst of the US-China race, if South Korea decides to join the Chip 4 Alliance, which is seen (by the Chinese Communist Party) as an anti-Chinese platform, it could strengthen ties with China, but the negative impact ,” said Chong.

Professor Kim Han-kwon of the Korea National Academy of Diplomatic Studies also said that “the challenges in South Korea-China relations are increasing” as the new South Korean government seeks to strengthen its alliance with the United States in a struggle for hegemony with the United States. Stated. Beijing.

The US proposal for a semiconductor alliance has seen the chip sector emerge as a key area of ​​bilateral cooperation between South Korea and the US, as evidenced by US President Joe Biden’s visit to Samsung Electronics’ chip factory. It was served when Travel to South Korea was highlighted in May.

“In this regard, great uncertainty looms over South Korea-China relations,” said Chong.
China’s call for Operation THAAD in Korea is a sensitive issue even among its neighbors.

Last week, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs faced the issue of THAAD (US anti-missile defense system). In 2016, South Korea and the United States decided to deploy a missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula, but China claimed the system’s radar could be used to spy on Chinese military operations in the surrounding airspace, citing security concerns.

The Moon Jae-in government’s stance on this issue continued. “I vividly remember the solemn statement made by the South Korean side on the THAAD issue in 2017,” said Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry. ROK is an abbreviation for the Republic of Korea, the official name of South Korea.

“It has played an important role in enhancing mutual trust and deepening cooperation between the two countries. Even if the government changes, we must keep our promises. Regarding serious and sensitive issues related to the security of neighboring countries, the South Korean side must continue to act calmly and find a fundamental solution to the problem. not.

“The Three No’s are not what we promised China. As far as I know, the government at the time only stated this as its position on China.”

. South Korean Ambassador to China Jeong Jae-ho also reiterated the Yoon government’s stance on relations with China at Monday’s appointment ceremony, saying mutual respect was important.

Since South Korea endorsed her THAAD operation, China has launched an economic retaliation campaign, imposing an informal boycott of South Korean products and enforcing tourism restrictions.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, shakes hands with Malaysia’s Parliamentary Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun during their meeting at the Malaysian Houses of Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday. Reuters-Yonhap

Diplomatic observers believe that there is a likelihood of further retaliation from China if the Korean government rejects its call for upholding the Three Nos policy.

“It is hard to predict how China could take retaliatory action against Korea, but Beijing is likely considering how to respond to the Korean government’s decision,” Chung said.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to visit Korea later this week and her trip is also something that may impact Korea’s ties with China.

“Given that China is responding strongly to Pelosi’s envisaged trip to Taiwan, if she takes issue with China’s human rights violations and matters linked to Taiwan and urges Korea to express its position on issues against China, it would also affect Korea-China relations,” Chung said.

Credit/Source : KoreaTimes

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