Evolving Chinese Policy toward the Korean Peninsula

Quansheng ZhaoThe East-West Cen­ter Research Pro­gram will present a dis­cus­sion of Chi­nese pol­i­cy toward the two Kore­as by Pro­fes­sor Quan­sheng Zhao of Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty on Thursday,
Novem­ber 12, 2015, at 12:00 noon in Burns Hall 3012.

Zhao, who is cur­rent­ly a POSCO vis­it­ing fel­low at the East-West Cen­ter, will dis­cuss three approach­es that can be iden­ti­fied in Beijing’s view toward con­flict in the Kore­an peninsula: 

  • A his­to­ry-embed­ded approach: Chi­nese for­eign pol­i­cy has tra­di­tion­al­ly been influ­enced by his­tor­i­cal lega­cies, not only over the past cou­ple of cen­turies, but also in the more recent expe­ri­ence in the Cold War.
  • A nation­al-inter­est dri­ven approach: Chi­na has grad­u­al­ly shift­ed to empha­size eco­nom­ic mod­ern­iza­tion since Deng Xiaoping’s open and reform pol­i­cy. For­eign pol­i­cy pri­or­i­ty has shift­ed to nation­al inter­ests instead of ideology.
  • A co-man­age­ment approach: Enter­ing the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry, China’s for­eign pol­i­cy has to cor­re­spond with its increas­ing sta­tus in glob­al pol­i­tics. The U.S. fac­tor has become even more promi­nent in China’s strate­gic cal­cu­la­tion toward the Kore­an penin­su­la. This requires Bei­jing to adopt a co-man­age­ment pol­i­cy with Wash­ing­ton, as well as oth­er region­al play­ers. The Six Par­ty Talks in the recent decade has pre­sent­ed a vivid exam­ple of co-man­age­ment, where both Bei­jing and Wash­ing­ton exer­cise lead­er­ship roles ensur­ing the sta­bil­i­ty of the Korea peninsula.

The pre­sen­ta­tion will also offer the author’s assess­ment of Beijing’s Korea pol­i­cy, with records of both suc­cess­es and fail­ures, and its future directions.

Quan­sheng Zhao is pro­fes­sor of inter­na­tion­al rela­tions and chair of the Asian Stud­ies Pro­gram Research Coun­cil at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. A spe­cial­ist in inter­na­tion­al rela­tions and com­par­a­tive pol­i­tics focus­ing on East Asia, Zhao is the author of Inter­pret­ing Chi­nese For­eign Pol­i­cy (Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press) and Japan­ese Pol­i­cy­mak­ing (Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press/​Praeger). His most recent edit­ed books are: Man­ag­ing the Chi­na Chal­lenge: Per­spec­tives from the Globe (2009) and Japan­ese For­eign Pol­i­cy and Sino-Japan­ese Rela­tions (2015). From 1993 to 2009, he was a research asso­ciate at the Fair­bank Cen­ter for East Asian Research of Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty, and from 1999 to 2008, he was divi­sion direc­tor of com­par­a­tive and region­al stud­ies at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty. Zhao received his B.A. from Peking Uni­ver­si­ty and M.A. and Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Berkeley.