SEOUL, April 13 South Korea on Monday expressed
its concern about China's rise as a global economic power and
stressed the need to act pre-emptively to counter the giant
neighbour's growing influence in the international community.
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in an eight-page
"reference material" that China's growing clout was likely to
intensify competition between the two countries especially in
export markets and energy diplomacy.
"Competition with China is expected to intensify in such
export markets as Latin America and Asia because China's recent
currency swap arrangements will enable yuan to be used in trade
settlements," the ministry said in the statement.
South Korea, which lacks natural resources, has relied
heavily on exports as a driver of growth that helped it rise
from the rubble of the 1950-53 Korean War to become the world's
The country's media and policymakers have been voicing
concerns that South Korea could lose its export markets to the
giant neighbour, which would jeopardize its efforts to catch up
with the world's most developed economies.
"In response to the spreading 'Beijing Consensus', our country
also needs to adopt pre-emptive external economic policy," the
finance ministry said, referring to a phrase used to describe
China's growing influence.
China, with which Seoul normalised diplomatic ties in 1992,
has become South Korea's biggest trade partner and main
South Korea's two-way trade volume with China amounted to
$168 billion in 2008, accounting for a fifth of its total trade
volume, and nearly 20,000 South Korean companies were operating
in China, government figures show.
(Reporting by Yoo Choonsik; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)