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Foreign Policy Analysis
Seoul, Beijing mark 24 years of diplomatic ties

Seoul, Beijing mark 24 years of diplomatic ties

Seoul and Beijing MAY be stuck in a diplomatic
and defense-related issues at the moment, but in many other areas the two countries
have seen their partnership make huge advancements in the last 24 years. Our Hwang Ji-hye takes a look at the past,
present, and future of the bilateral ties – she files this report from Shanghai. At this duty free shop in Seoul,… seven
out of 10 customers are Chinese,…who are avid fans of South Korean cosmetics. So it comes as no surprise there is a whole
floor dedicated to these best-selling items. “Korean cosmetics are really nice. They are easy to use, and for the price, the
quality is really good as well.” The growing influx of Chinese tourists has
certainly opened new growth opportunities for the domestic service and tourism sectors,
to mention a few. But it’s not just within the local market
that South Korean businesses are striving. Over in China,… South Korean firms are bolstering efforts
to penetrate the market, using the Korean wave, or hallyu as a firm foothold. “To take advantage of the growing demand in
this market of 1-point-3 billion, roughly 20-thousand Korean companies are doing business
here in China.” South Korea is also a crucial economic partner
for China due to a tight-knit web of production. Seoul exports intermediary goods to the neighboring
market, which are then used to produce final products. With that, Korea is China’s largest source
of imports. While much emphasis has been put on cultivating
economic ties between Seoul and Beijing since relations were established more than two decades
ago…, the need for a stronger strategic partnership is also gaining greater attention
than ever due to the ongoing military provocations from Pyongyang. But Seoul’s decision last month to deploy
the U.S. missile defense system THAAD to the Korean peninsula has put a dent in the South
Korea-China partnership, heightening concerns that the issue could even have an impact on
bilateral economic ties. It’s now the time for South Korea to really
focus on public diplomacy with the Chinese people. If we continue to see hostility between the
two countries, it will be hard to mend ties.” Experts point out that Seoul should work to
keep the steady stream of cultural exchanges with Beijing alive in order to build on the
24 years that the two nations have already cemented. Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News, Shanghai. And, you can catch our Hwang Ji-hye’s special
feature on Korea-China ties, Changing Dynamics, in its entirety at 4:30 p.m. Korea time right
here on Arirang TV.

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