China and Korea: A Relationship of Interdependency

Brannen, Michael Laird , Department of East Asian Studies, University of Virginia
Dimberg, Ronald, East Asia Center, University of Virginia
Jian, Chen, East Asia Center, University of Virginia

In This paper, I will trace the relationship between China and Korea to show the ongoing interdependent nature of this relationship. Since the early days of the Three Kingdoms period, rhetoric and circumstances have changed but the basic characteristic of the relationship has not. Tributary relations fostered the sadae juui mentality of the Yi Dynasty which was repressed during the Japanese colonial occupation in the early 20th century. Division of the Peninsula and the emergence of North Korea's Ju Che philosophy provided obstacles to the relationship, but not insurmountable ones. I will demonstrate in this paper that through the centuries, the relationship has remained consistent in one aspect: it has always been a relationship based on interdependency.

I have broken down this historic relationship into 5 phases for ease of comparison: 1) Pre 1895 sadae / tributary relationship; 2) 1895 -1945 independence and then Japanese annexation; 3) 1945 - 1976 Mao Zedong era of "one-Korea" policy; 4) 1977 - 1992 Deng Xiaoping era of one-Korea dejure / two-Koreas de facto; and, 5) 1992
- present era of normalization and two-Koreas de jure and de facto4 policy. Section one focuses on the tributary nature of the relationship and the sadae mentality that has developed since the second century BC. Section two traces Chinese support of Korean rebels during the Japanese Occupation and the ramifications of that support for the future of the Peninsula. Sections 3 through 5 trace the political, economic, and military implications of the transformation of the relationship from one-Korea to two-Koreas policy.

[Excerpt from page 3.]

MA (Master of Arts)
China and Korea, relationship of interdependency
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