The Future of the U.S.-ROK Alliance and the Rise of China
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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It is inevitable that the Peoples Republic of China PRC will continue to extend its influence over South Korea. Despite the anti-Americanism in South Korea, Seoul understands that there is a strong need for the U.S.-ROK alliance not only to deter North Korea, but also to ensure that U.S. maritime power can counterbalance against a Chinese intrusion in South Korean affairs. History shows that South Korea has preferred to rely on an external power to counterbalance against a proximate power, and it would be difficult for the ROK to withstand the weight of the PRC alone. Seouls security interests will dominate the cultural and economic aspects of its relations with China. Therefore, Seoul has a vested interest in ensuring the pre-eminence of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. Seoul must send an unambiguous signal to Washington that it continues to desire the U.S.-ROK alliance while maintaining its economic relationship with Beijing. In turn, Beijing must recognize that the presence of U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region is a historical and geopolitical necessity for South Korea.
- Government and Political Science