Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned his South Korean counterpart not to politicize economic and technological issues as the two prepared to meet Japan's top diplomat on the sidelines of a trilateral meeting aimed at boosting co-operation.

"China and South Korea have become cooperation partners with highly integrated interests and highly interconnected production and supply chains," Wang told South Korean counterpart Park Jin, according to a statement from China's foreign ministry.

"The two sides should jointly counter the trend" of politicizing economic issues and instrumentalizing scientific and technical topics, the Chinese top diplomat urged.

Seoul is seeking to avoid getting involved in the dispute between Beijing and Washington over semiconductors. Last month, the U.S. granted Samsung and XK Heiniks permission to ship U.S. chip equipment to its factories in China indefinitely, ending the conundrum for the world's two largest memory chipmakers.

China criticizes U.S. over chip export restrictions

"China wishes to jointly promote the relaunch of renewed trilateral cooperation with South Korea and Japan," Wang said.

Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul had agreed to hold summits every year starting in 2008 to boost diplomatic and economic exchanges, but the plan was blocked by bilateral disputes and the COVID pandemic, with the last trilateral summit of leaders in 2019.

The three countries are closely linked economically and culturally, together accounting for about 25% of global gross domestic product. But efforts to improve trilateral cooperation often fail due to a variety of problems, including historical disputes stemming from Japan's aggression during the war and strategic competition between China and the United States.

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