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International relations

South Korea's tiptoeing on Taiwan avoids Beijing backlash

Seoul thinks China 'understands' its position after Moon-Biden summit

South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a joint news conference with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on May 21. The leaders called for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait in a summit statement.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- When South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait alongside U.S. counterpart Joe Biden in Washington, it may have come across as an unexpected lurch toward the American position.

Yet their May 21 summit statement drew relatively little pushback from China for touching on a topic that Beijing considers a non-negotiable core interest.

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