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China's Rapprochement With South Korea

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Left-wing South Koreans protest the arrival of Donald Trump in Seoul, November 2017. Kim Hong-ji / Reuters

After a tense year that included harsh Chinese sanctions on South Korea, Beijing and Seoul announced on October 31 that they would take steps to repair bilateral relations. And on November 10-11, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will hold a summit on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam. 

The timing of the Chinese-South Korean rapprochement was significant: it followed closely on the heels of both China’s 19th Party Congress (which further cemented Xi’s grip on power) and an October 23 meeting of the U.S., Japanese, and South Korean defense ministers, which produced an agreement for their countries to work toward greater trilateral cooperation. The reconciliation also came just days before November 4, when U.S. President Donald Trump set off for his first trip to Asia since taking office. 

The source of the year-long dispute between China and South

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