The key point of Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation, Joseon-United States Treaty (1882) was whether or not to insert the article for dependency of Korea on Qing dynasty. Commodore Shufeldt, the U.S. representative granted full authority from the US government, thwarted the attempt of the China to specify it for the reason of hindering the signing of a treaty on terms of equality and courtesy between Joseon and the United States. Thus, the treaty became the basis of international law for Korea in it’s history to be recognized as an independent country politically, and open market where would not allow monopolies and privileges by the principle of equal opportunity, to certain countries economically. As a result, Shufeldt was able to put into practice his belief that America's prosperity depended on trade with Asian countries.
Li Hung-chang's idea of "dependency article" was to recruit the United States as a country that jointly protects Korea along with the Qing Dynasty. In the critical situations with Ryukyu annexation (1879) by Japan and the appearance of russian fleet led by admiral Lesovsky into the China sea, Li Hung-chang formed a scheme to cooperate with the U.S. in defense against Russia and Japan which led to the Russo-Chinese War crisis. Thus, if Shufeldt agreed to the "dependency article," Li wanted to seek defense cooperation with the U.S. based on the traditional Korea-Chinese relationship.
In response, Establishing of Joseon(Korea)-U.S. diplomatic relations presented a broad spectrum of Korea's future status. While Korea, being on terms of equality with the U.S., wanted to move away from its traditional dependency status on the Qing Dynasty and become an independent country, the China tried to strengthen its tributary relations with Korea. As a result, Korea's international status became a pendulum movement between independent and subordinate countries, linking it to the hegemonic rivalry between U.S. and China on the Korean Peninsula.