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The China Threat Theory Conditions Established to Korea and Military Implications

  • The Journal of Northeast Asia Research
  • Abbr : NEA
  • 2016, 31(1), pp.29-59
  • DOI : 10.18013/jnar.2016.31.1.002
  • Publisher : The Institute for Northeast Asia Research
  • Research Area : Social Science > Political Science > International Politics > International Relations / Cooperation

Lee, Sang-Taek 1 Yoon, Sungsuk 2

1원광대학교
2전남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

As China is rapidly growing in the 21st century, the attention of people around the world is shifting to the China. In addition, the fact that the Chinese are seeking to modernize their military and produce a stronger military country is the factor that it greatly affects the balance of power in Northeast Asia and the security of the Republic of Korea (ROK). China has achieved remarkable economic growth due to reforms and open market policies beginning in 1978. Accumulated capital resulted from economic growth has been invested in the modernization of the Chinese military in order to accelerate high-tech strategic weapon systems for their army. So the degree of military threats from China seems to have increase drastically. These rapid changes in the Chinese military are the causes of interests and concerns of citizens of the world and accepted as one of the tangible facts to support the China threat theory. This paper analyzes the military aspects of the China threat theory based in realism and will focus the China threat theory to derive the military implications in the ROK. In order to establish this theory, firstly, does China have the military capability to threaten its neighboring countries? Secondly, if China has this ability, does China intend to use it against its neighboring countries? Thirdly, do neighboring countries recognize the overall capabilities and intentions of China as threatening factors? All the three questions must be answered “Yes.” It can be seen that the China threat theory is valid in the ROK as the three conditions presented by the findings of this study are all satisfied. Therefore, the ROK will have to find a way to make strategic response plans in preparation for the negative impacts of the China threat theory on Northeast Asian region.

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