South Korea-China relations have rarely been studied as an independent theme. The accumulation of more than fifteen years of research, Between Ally and Partner reconstructs a comprehensive portrait of Sino-Korean rapprochement and examines the strategic dilemma that the rise of China has posed for South Korea and its alliance with the United States. Jae Ho Chung makes use of declassified government archives, internal reports, and opinion surveys and conducts personal interviews with Korean, Chinese, and American officials. He tackles three questions: Why did South Korea and China reconcile before the end of the cold war? How did rapprochement lay the groundwork for diplomatic normalization? And what will the intersection of security concerns and economic necessity with China mean for South Korea's relationship with its close ally, the United States?
The implications of Sino-Korean relations go far beyond the Korean Peninsula. South Korea was caught largely unprepared, both strategically and psychologically, by China's rise, and the dilemma that South Korea now faces has crucial ramifications for many countries in Asia, where attempts to counterbalance China have been rare. Thoroughly investigated and clearly presented, this book answers critical questions concerning what kept these two countries talking and how enmity was transformed into a zeal for partnership.
Centrifugal Empire examines the logic, mode, and instrument of local governance established by the People's Republic, and then compares the current system to the practices of its dynastic predecessors. The result is an expansive portrait of Chinese leaders' attitudes toward regional autonomy and local challenges, one concerned with territory-specific preoccupations and manifesting in constant searches for an optimal design of control. Jae Ho Chung reveals how current communist instruments of local governance echo imperial institutions, while exposing the Leninist regime's savvy adaptation to contemporary issues and its need for more sophisticated inter-local networks to keep its unitary rule intact. He casts the challenges to China's central–local relations as perennial, since the dilution of the system's "socialist" or "Communist" character will only accentuate its fundamentally Chinese—or centrifugal—nature.