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People's Daily Online

China's absence from high-level security dialogue due to 'work arrangement': Ministry of Defense

People's Daily Online

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online) 16:51, September 09, 2016

China opted not to send a delegation to this week's Seoul Defense Dialogue(SDD) because of "reasons of work arrangement," the Global Times wrote on Sept. 8, quoting an unidentified Ministry spokesperson. No further details were offered.

The SDD, which opened on Sept. 7, was scheduled to discuss security issues including North Korean nuclear tests and maritime disputes. South Korean media has asserted that the real reason for China's absence from the dialogue is the THAAD deployment.

Jin Jingyi, a Peking University expert on North Korean affairs, told the Global Times that "although the specific reasons remain unknown, it might be related to souring Sino-South Korean ties over THAAD deployment."

Three Chinese scholars are nevertheless taking part in SDD this year. According to the South China Morning Post, the participants are: law expert Zhang Xinjun from Tsinghua University, international relations expert Shi Yinhong from Renmin University of China and U.S. affairs expert Teng Jianqun from the China Institute of International Studies.

The SDD is one of the region's highest-ranking multilateral security dialogue, hosted by South Korea's Ministry of National Defense. Under the slogan "security and peace for cooperation," the dialogue aims to improve security and establish military trust in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Korean Peninsula.

Counting SDD, there are currently four regular state-level international security dialogues. Last year, Major General Xue Guo'an headed a six-person delegation to SDD, which included Colonel Lu Yin and Zhang Tuosheng, director of research and a senior fellow at the China Foundation for International Strategic Studies, according to the report.

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