On Thursday, both South Korea and China set the stage for a scheduled visit by President Xi Jinping to Seoul to discuss lingering issues such as stalled talks on North Korea’s nuclear program and tackling the coronavirus pandemic. Understandings were reached between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung- wha with the purpose of ensuring that both countries despite their lingering issues , forge a joint strategy to tackle challenges to regional peace. China’s outreach belies the longstanding Western narrative that Beijing seeks to expand its influence and hegemony which is detrimental towards sustainable peace and tranquility in Asia. In fact, both countries have stressed on maintaining a close partnership to thwart threats from the DPRK, which have been made worse due to blunders committed by the Trump administration in its diplomatic outreach towards North Korea causing the latter to become ever more defiant. China’s approach towards the Korean peninsula could not differ more from the United States. Provocations such as the installation of a US missile defense system in South Korea in 2017 along with lack of headway in failed talks with Pyongyang due to flawed negotiations has only served to widen the trust deficits between major stakeholders of peace in the region such as China, South Korea and the DPRK. North Korea tested more missiles which violated the initial promise reached with Washington D.C. due to US- South Korea military exercises . An ever defiant Pyongyang resulted in concerns being voiced by Seoul in its National Security Council emergency meeting and it became clear that the previous US administration’s policy of flawed dialogue with simultaneous military exercises had failed to allay South Korea’s threat perceptions. The South Korean/ Chinese relationship gains added relevance in this regard with an opportunity for both capitals to address some of the key concerns in their neighborhood especially with the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula requiring innovative approaches. The strengthening of trust, enhancement of cooperation including cultural exchanges and the establishment of a cooperation mechanism to prevent the pandemic from spreading demonstrates the depth of the understandings reached A change in strategy possibly implies a phased or synchronized manner of de-escalation as mentioned by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul. A phased strategy entails straying away from American binaries such as outward confrontation with North Korea on one hand and rapprochement without any preconditions on the other. The fact that positive optics are being witnessed in the form of meetings between foreign ministers of both countries prior to an official high level Presidential visit demonstrates the strategic wisdom which is being invested to ensure that an everlasting resolution to the Korean Peninsula crisis is ensured. A notable fact often ignored by Western analysis of the threat that the DPRK poses to the region is that both Beijing and Seoul consider Pyongyang’s pursuit of nuclear weapons to be a shared instead of an exclusive concern. South Korea and China have also referred to one another as strategic partners in this regard with a vision for cooperation for which denuclearization is the first step. Additionally, the constant reference of safeguarding the ‘citizens’ of the two countries demonstrates the seriousness attached with ensuring the security of the peninsula. These facts challenge the widely held misconception that China is a provocateur and threatens states with hegemonic designs. The recently concluded Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is evidence of Beijing’s commitment towards strengthening economic relations between states in the Asia Pacific which includes South Korea. If the narrative of China being an existential threat gained traction with RCEP member states, partnerships and agreements such as the RCEP would not have materialized, especially between states with longstanding differences such as South Korea and China. Seoul views cooperation with Beijing with considerable optimism in light of the looming threat of the DPRK deploying nuclear weapons. The analysis presented by scholars censuring China’s close relationship with the DPRK as an anathema towards resolving the Korean Peninsula crisis is hence, flawed. Both countries have already reached a ten point consensus on issues ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to the consolidation of the Free Trade Agreement reached during Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Seoul. The strengthening of trust, enhancement of cooperation including cultural exchanges and the establishment of a cooperation mechanism to prevent the pandemic from spreading demonstrates the depth of the understandings reached. It also contrasts with how the United States lack of pragmatism in dealing with the virus coupled with blatant disregard for multilateralism resulted in the worsening of the pandemic . Both South Korea and China understand the implications of lack of joint coordination mechanisms on pandemic responses and security and have chosen to promote platforms such as the 2+2 dialogue on diplomatic and security affairs as well as supporting the ninth China- Japan- South Korea summit to advance the FTA negotiation process for promoting economic stability. The premise for enhancing ties is based on simple logic encapsulated in the ten point consensus. That rationale is that conflict resolution is possible through political settlements, negotiations and dialogue and despite lingering issues between relevant parties economic prosperity needs to be achieved jointly. Hence, the scheduled visit of President Xi Jinping to Seoul and the significance of the preceding events such as the Foreign Minister’s meeting alongside considerable headway reached between South Korea and China acts as a testament to Beijing’s commitment towards dialogue, economic prosperity and the peaceful resolution of the Korean Peninsula crisis.