The pundits believe this is a honeymoon period for China and South Korea. Ironically, it is happening as Pyongyang has been ratcheting up its rhetoric and war posturing.
Many wonder whether China has finally lost patience with its intractable neighbor, North Korea, with differences between them deepening after Pyongyang's third nuclear test. Beijing's support for tougher UN sanctions against Pyongyang raised high expectations, especially in Seoul. President Barack Obama also recognized China's toughened posture when he said China was "recalculating" its North Korea policy.
In fact, China's recalculation is more about South Korea. Amid
China's rise and resulting geopolitical shifts, China increasingly sees South Korea as a "swing state" that can be won over by Beijing, argues Kim Heungkyu at Sungshin Women's University in Seoul. China sees South Korea as the "weakest link" among the Washington-Seoul-Tokyo alliance, agrees a Chinese analyst in Beijing. Taken together, China thinks it can work on Seoul to pull it away from Washington. READ MORE