Park tries to appease Wang over chips in Qingdao

0

Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, far left, holds talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, far right, in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Tuesday. [YONHAP]

If Korea is meeting with the United States to discuss semiconductors, it is not meant to isolate any particular country, Foreign Minister Park Jin told Chinese Supreme Envoy Wang Yi on Tuesday.

“Minister Park has made it clear that Korea’s recent decision to join a preliminary meeting [on the semiconductor supply chain] was purely and entirely based on our national interests and was not intended to exclude or target any particular country,” a Foreign Ministry official told reporters after Park and Wang met in Qingdao, New York. Shandong province.

The State Department has offered the Korean government closer cooperation on semiconductors, a government insider told Korea JoongAng Daily on Wednesday.

Whether there is a meeting on semiconductors between Washington and Seoul, and possibly other parties, the time and location have not been set on Monday, the Foreign Ministry said.

Reports from Seoul in recent days have spoken of a vague ‘Chip 4’ group to cooperate on semiconductor supply chains, which supposedly includes Korea, the United States, Japan and Taiwan. .

In Qingdao on Tuesday, Wang was described by the ministry official as having “listened carefully”, adding that he expected Korea to continue to “make sound judgments” on pursuing its own national interests, and that China has its eyes on what the United States is doing in the region.

No US department or Korean ministry has confirmed the establishment of a “Chip 4” or “Fab 4” alliance.

The Korean Foreign Ministry said on Monday that discussions were underway with the US government on “cooperation on strengthening the semiconductor supply chain”, and that the cooperation is “not an alliance intended to exclude a specific nation”.

US restrictions on China’s access to semiconductor technology are set to increase with the recently passed Chips and Science Act.

The US-China rivalry was a topic of the two senior officials’ conversation in Qingdao on Tuesday, the first to take place in China since the inauguration of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration in May.

In his opening speech, Wang spoke out against “external interference,” a phrase the Chinese government often uses to criticize U.S. involvement in the region, including the controversial visit by the President of China. the United States House, Nancy Pelosi, in Taiwan last week.

“We need to maintain goodwill and consider everyone’s important concerns,” Wang told Park. “A win-win situation must be maintained to preserve a stable and smooth supply chain and industrial network.

“We must maintain equality and respect and not interfere in each other’s internal affairs.”

The two main envoys also touched on another problem in Beijing-Seoul relations, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad), a US-led anti-missile system deployed in Korea in 2017. China imposed economic sanctions on Korea after its deployment, calling the US Plan system a spy on China.

“Both clearly and in detail expressed their respective positions on Thaad,” the ministry official said. “The Korean and Chinese sides have clearly agreed that this issue should not become an obstacle to the development of Korea-China relations in the future.”

Park said he also announced the abandonment of the so-called “three noes” policy of the former Moon Jae-in administration.

The so-called ‘three no’s’ refer to a pledge the Moon administration made in October 2017 not to carry out further deployments of the Thaad missile shield, participate in a US missile defense network or transform the alliance. American-Korean-Japanese military alliance.

“I made it clear that the [Three No’s] the policy was not a deal or a promise,” Park told reporters after meeting Wang on Tuesday.

Despite the sensitive topics discussed during the meeting, the conversation was described as “frank and productive” and “friendly” by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lasting almost three hours and extending over a dinner.

Regarding semiconductor cooperation with the United States, Park reportedly put forward the idea that Korea could actually serve as a type of economic or trade bridge for China in the region.

“Park said Korea cooperating on semiconductors with other countries is not necessarily a bad thing for China,” a senior Foreign Ministry official told reporters after the meeting. “Given the close economic and trade structure between Korea and China, [Park] explained that Korea could even play a bridge role.

Park also reportedly reassured China that Korea’s adherence to the one-China policy remains unchanged.

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

Share.

Comments are closed.