The role of China in Korean unification
Son, Dae Yeol
Olsen, Edward A.
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China and Korea have had relations for more than two thousand years. During that period, China greatly influenced Korea. However, as a result of China's defeat in the Sino-Japanese War in 1894-1895 and the Japanese annexation of Korea from 1910 to 1945, the influence of China over Korea began to wane and was then lost. Meanwhile, while the People's Republic of China (PRC) was the Republic of Korea (ROK)'s primary enemy state, and the United States became the ROK's only military alliance state, particularly due to their intervention in the Korean War in the Cold War era, the PRC, coupled with the United States, has become one of the most important partnership countries of the ROK in terms of security and economy on the Korean peninsula in the post-Cold War era. More importantly, the PRC is the only state which enjoys good relations with the two Koreas. Under these circumstances, the ROK's amicable relations with the PRC and the United States must be extremely important factors for Korean reconciliation and the reunification process. This thesis mainly examines Korea's historical relations with China and the United States, anticipates the role of China in Korean unification, and offers policy recommendations.
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