Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Seoul to attend Trilateral Summit Meeting with Japan and South Korea

Li Qiang

26th May 2024 – (Seoul) Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrived in Seoul on Sunday to participate in the ninth Trilateral Summit Meeting among China, Japan, and South Korea. This marks the first three-way talks between the leaders in over four years, as the initiative was disrupted by bilateral disputes and the COVID-19 pandemic. The trilateral summit, which will take place from Sunday to Monday, aims to enhance regional cooperation and strengthen ties among the three nations.

During the summit, Li, along with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, will engage in key events, including the trilateral summit meeting and the China-Japan-South Korea business summit. Discussions will cover various aspects of trilateral cooperation, such as the economy and trade, science and technology, people-to-people exchanges, and issues related to health and the aging population.

Seoul officials have stated that a joint statement will be adopted, outlining agreements in six areas of cooperation. These include the aforementioned sectors, emphasising the importance of collaboration in addressing shared challenges and fostering mutual growth.

Ahead of the trilateral gathering, Yoon is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Li and Kishida on Sunday. Additionally, Kishida is expected to have a separate meeting with Li, during which he will address concerns regarding the Chinese ban on Japanese seafood imports and the topic of Taiwan.

The summit takes place against the backdrop of South Korea and Japan’s efforts to improve strained relations and strengthen their trilateral security partnership with the United States, particularly in light of the growing rivalry between China and the United States in the region.

China has expressed concerns over the deepening ties between the United States and its neighbouring countries, warning that such actions may exacerbate regional tensions. Both Seoul and Tokyo have emphasised the importance of maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and have criticised any attempts to forcibly change it.