South Korea between the United States and China: Why Countries Don’t Want to Choose Sides

In the United States, there is increasing talk about a US-China confrontation or competition. Assumed within that is the idea that all East Asian nations fear China and welcome the United States military and containment presence. This view, however is perhaps inaccurate. Most East Asian countries want good relations with both China and the United States. Korea is a key case study to highlight these tensions.

In this talk, Professor David Kang will discuss South Korea’s strategic interests and diplomatic options as it navigates between two huge countries.

Speaker’s Profile

David C. Kang is Maria Crutcher Professor in International Relations, Business and East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Southern California, with appointments in both the School of International Relations and the Marshall School of Business. At USC he is also director of the Korean Studies Institute. Kang’s latest book is American Grand Strategy and East Asian Security in the 21st Century (Cambridge University Press, 2017). He is also author of East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute (Columbia University Press, 2010); China Rising: Peace, Power, and Order in East Asia (Columbia University Press, 2007); Crony Capitalism: Corruption and Development in South Korea and the Philippines (Cambridge University Press, 2002); and Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies, co-authored with Victor Cha (Columbia University Press, 2003). Kang has published numerous scholarly articles in journals such as International Organization and International Security, and his co-authored article “Testing Balance of Power Theory in World History” was awarded “Best article, 2007-2009,” by the European Journal of International Relations. Kang has also written opinion pieces in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as writing a monthly column for the Joongang Ilbo in Korean. He received an A.B. with honors from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from Berkeley.

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.