Seoul, South Korea — Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho clarified on Thursday that South Korea has no intentions of severing its economic relations with China, contrary to criticisms that the Yoon Suk Yeol administration is neglecting its primary trading partner.
Yonhap News Agency reports that the finance minister made the statement during a parliamentary audit of his ministry. This came in response to Rep. Jung Tae-ho of the main opposition Democratic Party, who expressed concerns that the Yoon administration seemed to be distancing itself from China in favor of closer ties with the United States and Japan.
"China is a very crucial country for our economy, and the two countries will continue cooperation in a mutually beneficial way," Choo emphasized.
The reaffirmation follows a statement in June 2022 by Choi Sang-mok, senior presidential secretary for economic affairs, suggesting that the era of booming exports to China was coming to an end and that South Korea should explore alternative markets. According to government data, China remains South Korea's top trading partner, with exports amounting to US$11 billion in September alone.