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Building Coalitions and Making US Policy toward China

  • Korean Social Science Journal
  • Abbr : KSSJ
  • 2019, 46(2), pp.113-124
  • Publisher : Korean Social Science Research Council
  • Research Area : Social Science > Social Science in general
  • Published : December 1, 2019

Seo Jungkun 1

1경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

One of the most frequently asked questions in the era of US-China rivalry is which country South Korea should side with. Although the Republic of Korea has been a staunch military ally with the United States ever since the end of the Korean War in 1953, it is also hard to ignore the fact that China is a rising economic powerhouse as well as a neighboring superpower. In this paper, I argue that we could wait until after the United States, at least, would decide. As America is still struggling with the question of how to handle China, South Korea doesn’t have to jump to a conclusion. I claim that when leaders in America try to manage the rise of China, they have hard time forming consensus. China strategies have differed from one administration to another, not to mention the positions of the Capitol Hill. Domestic preferences and pressures are equally critical for explaining the inconsistency and contradictions in Washington’s policy toward Beijing. Divisions within Republican and Democratic ranks over the benefits and costs of China’s economic rise have made it even more difficult than before for presidents to find common ground within their own parties, let alone to find consensus across party lines.

Citation status

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

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.