Research Papers

Power Shift in East Asia and the Dilemma of Korea-China Strategic Cooperation (Lee, Jung-Nam / HK Pr

2014.07.10 Views 763

Title : Power Shift in East Asia and the Dilemma of Korea-China Strategic Cooperation

Author : Lee, Jung-Nam (HK Professors)

Publication : Peace Studies(Center of Peace and Democracy Studies, Korea University)   Vol.22, No.1(2014, Spring)


By analyzing the means how the new governments of Korea and China intend to solve the problems of North Korea, its nuclear tests and the alliance of Korea-US that are the core agenda of the strategic cooperation between Korea and China in the current structural situation of power shifts in East Asia, this thesis seeks to define the essence of dilemma in the development of strategic cooperation between Korea and China and find out the policy direction of Korea. As power shift happens practically in East Asia region, the Korea-China relations is transforming into a relationship that is influenced by structural factors of rapid reformation of international order of power in East Asia by transcending the bilateral Korea-China relationship. These structural factors strongly and directly affect the development of Korea-China relations since the appearance of the new governments in the two countries of Korea and China. For this reason though the Korea-China relations seem to be very friendly and favorable superficially since the rise of the new governments, their cooperation has not developed fairly well so far from the aspect of strategic cooperation. First of all, regarding the nuclear issue of North Korea that is the primary agenda of strategic cooperation of Korea-China relations, Korea and China confront each other with their different positions that China claims to hold the six party talks early while Korea asserts North Korea should take visible measures for denuclearization sooner as possible. In addition concerning the policy balance of Korean government about the US-China relations, Koreans have a fear that the weakening Korea-US alliance may endanger the security in Korea from the threat of North Korea while the Chinese understand that the comprehensive consolidation of Korea-US alliance functions to control the Chinese influence. This is because the direction of China-US relations seriously influences the Korean peninsula as well as the East Asia. Based on this evaluation, this thesis suggests five diplomatic alternatives to minimize the uncertainties in the process of power shift and to draw a stable development in Korea-China relations.
Keyword: Korea-China Relations, Power Shifts in East Asia, Korea-US alliance, China-US relations, the Nuclear Issue of North Korea