Those who are wary of the honeymoon between Korea and China say that the current bilateral relationship is like a big snake wrapped around a rabbit. It is an awful comparison. But if we are overly carried away by the closest relationship with China since Korea tied a diplomatic knot with the superpower in 1992 and fall into Xi's dream of regaining the glory of the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty -- who controlled Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mongolia and other islands of the East and South China Seas -- then inter-Korean relations, Korea-U.S. ties and Korea-Japan relations will cross a bridge of no return.
China's continuous rise and China's active strategic engagement with South Korea are increasingly challenging the basis of the U.S.-Japan-South Korea cooperative triangle in Northeast Asia. South Korea, on its part, is also upgrading its cooperation with China on economic partnership, a political dialogue (to persuade North Korea to renounce its nuclear ambition) and on the historical posture vis-a-vis Japan.