South Korea is making up with China, but a sour taste remains


IT IS China’s least edifying diplomatic strategy, and it is certainly not from “The Analects” of Confucius or from Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”. Call it the doghouse approach. If China does not like what you are doing, it bullies you until you change. If you don’t, it punishes you by putting you in the doghouse. If you still refuse to change, it pulls you out again after a suitable term of punishment, pretends all is normal, and expects you to be grateful.

South Korea is the latest country to endure the cycle. This year its holiday island of Jeju, along with the best-known scenic spots in Seoul, the capital, have been free of the usual throngs of loud, jostling Chinese tour parties. The emptiness has been, let’s be frank, a delight. But for South Koreans, it is a sour pleasure because China wilfully ordered the tourists and their spending power away—a sort of reverse punitive mission.

The Chinese government also found ways to punish South Korea in China itself….Continue reading