본문 바로가기
  • Home

Change in American Policy toward Asia and China’s Reaction: Theoretical Discussions and Empirical Analyses

Kim Seok Woo 1 Sukin Jang 1

1서울시립대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Conflict between the United States and China has rapidly increased. Both absolute and relative power difference between the two countries have been reduced. This international systemic change created new risks and insecurities. As the United States adopted the policy of ‘pivot to Asia’, China responded to this by strengthening relationship with Asian countries. It is not still clear whether relationship between the two countries will be more cooperative or more conflictual. So far, the United States and China disputed in some issues, while they cooperated each other in other issues. There are many existing IR theories which can be applied to analyses on the relationship between the two countries. Offensive realism, defensive realism, power transition theory, hegemonic competition theory, complex interdependence theory, and constructivism explain the bilateral relationship from different perspectives. Cooperation-conflict patterns between the two countries will depend on change in national power of the two countries, mutual cognition toward the other and environmental changes in the international system. This study establishes two hypotheses based upon these practical and theoretical analyses. The first one is that there have been big changes in American and Chinese foreign policies toward Asia after 2010-2011. The second one is that there have been cross-issue differences in American and Chinese foreign policies toward Asia. Even though we cannot make definitive conclusions, empirical data show that the United States have taken more aggressive security policy since 2010, while China have responded to American policies by strengthening non-security relationships with Asian countries. Nature of bilateral relationship between the United States and China will become clearer, as time passes by. We need to do closer and more precise analyses on bilateral relationship in the future. By doing more researches and monitoring bilateral relationship in the future, Korea must adopt and practice “good” foreign policies to maximize national interest in the middle of competition between the United States and China.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.