This article refutes the widely-speculated claims that China’s charm offensive aims to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States to pull the former closer to its side. South Korea, at least in theory, remains unswayed and can hold its posture, recognising an important strategic factor that interstate diplomacy is interest-driven. China’s relations with South Korea are largely economics-driven. Economic motivations have compromised China’s and South Korea’s development of bilateral relations in the realm of hard politics, even though China is entirely cognizant of the North Korean factor, and of the diverging values that both countries uphold.