Wang Yi

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in Seoul on Wednesday for a three-day visit, his first in about a year.

Wang’s main aim seems to be to discuss the new U.S. administration with China’s neighbors amid cautious optimism that lame-duck U.S. President Donald Trump’s successor Joe Biden will steer a less confrontational course toward China.

He arrived Tokyo on Tuesday and is to meet Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga the following day.

He may want to explain Beijing’s view of Trump’s anti-China alliance, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad, which Japan has joined but Korea has not.

Wang meets Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Thursday and will probably urge her not to join Washington’s cold war on China. Korea is currently in China’s good books because it signed the Beijing-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s biggest free-trade agreement.

A Cheong Wa Dae official on Monday said RCEP and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump exited but Biden will most likely rejoin, are “mutually compatible.”

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