Experts claim that Wang’s return is a good sign for S. Korea-China ties

  • China has replaced outspoken Foreign Minister Qin Gang with his predecessor Wang Yi after speculation mounted over the month-long absence of the outgoing minister from public view.
  • Compared to Qin, Wang, who served as foreign minister from 2013 to 2022 and is now director of the foreign affairs arm of the ruling Communist Party, is known for his rich diplomatic experience as Beijing’s top diplomat.
  • Wang is also known for his experience in dealing with multiple South Korean presidential administrations, presenting himself at many critical junctures of Northeast Asian diplomacy, such as the six-party talks involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, the U.S. and Russia.
  • As such, experts commented that Wang’s return could offer momentum for positive talks between the two countries, though it does not signal a drastic change in China’s diplomatic stance on Seoul, because the current downturn is a complex outcome of the U.S.-China rivalry, Beijing’s One China principle and Seoul’s strong diplomatic shift toward Washington and Western countries.

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