Knowing You Better and Liking You Less: South Korea and China


A key element of the evolving Asian situation is the relationships among the Asians themselves which has little to do with the United States.  Unfortunately, Inside the Beltway usually debates the US approach to China as if it is the only or even key definer of reality in the Pacific.  The Administration announces a shift towards and Asian Pivot and Inside the Beltway debates the impact of these WORDS on the reality of relationships in the Pacific.

But back to the real world for a moment: Asian powers are increasingly significant worldwide and their relationships are themselves determinant of the next phase of history.

A recent article in the South Korean press highlighted one such dynamic. Apparently, the South Koreans are trading and dealing more with the PRC but liking them less.

  • A series of annual surveys by Joongang Ilbo showed China overtaking N Korea and the US in the late 2000s as the country S Koreans most disliked
  • Favorable Chinese sentiment toward S Korea declined from 73 on a scale from 0-100 in 2006 to 53 last year, according to surveys by the East Asia Institute
  • The estranged public sentiment contrasts with the rapid growth in trade and personnel exchanges between the two countries over the past two decades