Experts in the United States advised South Korea to actively utilize its alliance with the U.S. in maintaining good relations with China, as the incoming Joe Biden administration is projected to seek cooperation with Beijing amid continued tensions.
In a written interview with the Federation of Korean Industries(FKI) on Monday, John Hamre, president and CEO of Center for Strategic and International Studies(CSIS), said Biden will likely pursue the "Pivot to Asia" policy from the Barack Obama administration.
Hamre forecast that Biden will prioritize seeking cooperation with China by establishing a framework for "constructive discussions."
CSIS Korea Chair Victor Cha expected the Biden administration to maintain a balance between cooperating with Beijing on tackling climate change and COVID-19, and keeping tension on issues like digital security and human rights.
Calling on Seoul to maintain a strong alliance with Washington to use as leverage in keeping good relations with Beijing, Cha stressed that it is not about choosing one relationship over the other.
On North Korea, Hamre expected the Biden administration to issue a statement calling for Pyongyang to so its will to denuclearize, while Cha said specialized officials and experts will return to leading negotiations.