글쓴이 : 관리자 작성일 : 2021-06-25
|U.S. lawmaker calls for S. Korea's participation in 'Quad'|
By Yi Wonju
SEOUL, June 25 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. lawmaker called Friday for expanding the alliance between South Korea and the United States, such as Seoul joining the U.S.-led "Quad" coalition of countries, saying China could also be included in such a multilateral coalition to safeguard universal values.
Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation, made the remarks at a forum co-hosted by Yonhap News Agency and the unification ministry, referring to the four-nation coalition consisting also of Australia, India and Japan.
"I am very optimistic about what the future holds, the resetting and movement towards not just the stronger U.S.-South Korea relations and addressing issues and threats on the peninsula but also building a broader coalition, whether that's bringing Korea into the Quad coalitions with Australia, Japan and India," he said.
"I think Korea has a lot to offer in that space if we look at digital trade, digital privacy issues, entrepreneurship and etc.," he added.
Bera also said he hopes China will someday join such a multilateral framework.
"I think we can create a framework by which it is not about China but it is about the values we share as similar countries," he said. "My hope would be that at some time China would want to be part of coalitions like that."
Bera added that human rights, free market competition and the free movement of goods and services are not values shared by only South Korea and the U.S. but with many countries in the region, like Australia, New Zealand, India and Japan.
He also called on the U.S. to create opportunities to work with China to end the coronavirus pandemic together, calling it the biggest challenge now.
"It is my hope that there can be partnership to look at supply chains, to look at the ingredients and to ramp up manufacturing in a way that is beneficial not just for the region but for the world," he added.
Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), another U.S. lawmaker participating in the forum, called on Seoul and Washington to focus on strengthening the bilateral alliance, saying that South Korea is often looked at by the U.S. mostly in terms of its relation to China and the North.
"So this is something that is important for us to re-anchor and to demonstrate and showcase the strategic relevance and importance that the U.S.-South Korea relationship plays in and of itself," he said.