초록

This paper identifies a gap between expectation and reality in South Korea-China relations. It applies the theory of “Autonomy- Security Trade-off” and analyzes incidents such as North Korea’s sinking of the Cheonan, its bombardment of the Yeonpyeong Island, and the deployment of the U.S. THAAD system in South Korea. As a result, this paper concludes that South Korea expected more from China than it merited. Contrary to South Korean expectations, China was not ready to help South Korea on security issues. The Strategic Cooperative Partnership, which was signed in 2008 between the two countries, appeared to be just a friendly gesture, although South Korea expected cooperation in security sector. South Korea should recognize that its partnership with China cannot replace its alliance with the U.S. It should settle for economic, social, and cultural cooperation with China and maintain security cooperation with the U.S. If South Korea reminds China of this limitation in its mutual relationship, China could also settle for its cooperation with South Korea on sectors other than security. China would therefore not intervene into South Korean security decisions as we witnessed over the deployment of the U.S. THAAD system.

키워드

South Korea, China, South Korea-China, THAAD, Autonomy-Security

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