Leaders of China, Japan, South Korea to meet today for first time since 2019 – Executive Digest

The leaders of South Korea, China and Japan will meet in Seoul starting Monday for the first trilateral talks since 2019, South Korean public news agency Yonhap reported today.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will attend the trilateral summit, Yonhap said.

The news was confirmed by other South Korean media, which quoted the country’s president.

The first trilateral summit took place in 2008 and the three Asian countries agreed to hold such a meeting between their leaders every year. Something that hasn’t happened since 2019, mainly due to restrictions imposed by China due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Efforts to strengthen cooperation among Asian neighbors have faced obstacles such as historical disputes over Japanese aggression during World War II and strategic rivalry between China and the United States, both allies of Seoul and Tokyo.

On May 14, South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yu visited Beijing, where he met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, who lamented the “difficulties and challenges” affecting relations between the two countries.

Noting that there are “no fundamental differences” between the two sides, Wang highlighted the importance of maintaining “regular exchanges” between the two neighbors.

On the same note, Cho Dae-yul expressed hope that the visit would be a “significant step” in the relations between South Korea and China.

The two ministers also exchanged views on trilateral cooperation between China, Japan and South Korea.

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