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The Rise of China and South Korea: Sunshine and Beyond

By David Hundt


While China’s re-emergence at both the regional and global levels has attracted much attention, a less discernible development has been South Korea’s bid to adopt a more robust foreign policy. For the decade following the establishment of bilateral relations with the mainland in 1992, South Korea viewed China as a valuable partner that could facilitate its foreign policy goals. Although differing in ambition and capacity, in several respects—their preferred methods of resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis, their expanding trade and investment, and their scepticism about Japanese intentions—the regional perspectives of China and South Korea proved to be highly complementary. However, closer ties with China complicate Korea’s relations with the United States, whose regional leadership China is beginning to challenge. In light of the adverse impact of the rise of China on the Korea–US alliance and other developments (notably the dispute involving the Goguryeo kingdom), South Korea’s views of China have cooled. This paper traces the Korean debate about the rise of China and its implications

Year: 2010
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