S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) Theses (Master's Degree_국제학과)
Is China Increasingly Assertive Towards South Korea? : South Korea Caught in Between the US-Japan Alliance and Rising China
중국은 한국에게 더 강경한가? : 미일-중 사이의 한국
- 국제대학원 국제학과
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 국제대학원
- Assertiveness; China; behavioral science; China-US relations; China-ROK relations; China-Japan relations; Air Defense Identification Zone; the Yeonpyeong shelling; the Cheonan submarine sinking; maritime disputes; US-ROK military exercise.
- 학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 국제대학원 : 국제학과(국제협력전공), 2016. 8. 신성호.
- Since 2010, scholars and media mostly from the US created a increasingly assertive China hype, like another strand of China threat theory. The narrative has three weaknesses. First, China is demonized by a lopsided, negative definition of assertiveness. Second, the narratives analyze Chinese action towards diverse actors to assess its intention, which is unsuitable for individual states policy making towards China. Third, the attitude is interpreted from the perspectives of the US and its allies, excluding others and ignoring the diverging interest amongst the US and its allies. This research presents a new definition and typology of assertiveness, based on international relations and behavioral science. It evaluates the bilateral relationship between China and South Korea in security issues. Based on the new framework, seven case studies were examined, finding whether or not China is increasingly assertive towards South Korea since 2010 in security issues, and if yes, what kind of assertive. The analysis found that China is defensive assertive or non-assertive in bilateral relationship with South Korea, defending its existing interest or not defending it at all. However, when the issues with Seoul also involve Japan or the US, China is offensive assertive, expanding its interest. It displays Chinese assertiveness depends on the actors and in this case, more towards the US and Japan, but less towards South Korea. However, Seoul and Tokyo is linked to Washington through military alliance. Inevitably caught in the triangular relationship and facing the Sino-US, Sino-Japan rivalry, South Korea will have to face a dilemma between the two giants: the US-Japan alliance and China. Other countries, especially in Asia, are caught in the similar impasse.