More than 70 articles have been contributed in the past two years, since the first one on November 14, 2017. It was published every week except for some time during the summer and winter breaks. The authors are from all around the world, mostly from Korea, China, and Japan. Total 34 views, 10 reviews, and 28 interviews were written. The topics also varied, but can be largely distinguished into three parts: Chinese Diplomacy, Korean Diplomacy, and Public Diplomacy. In this book, Part Ⅰ ‘China’s Foreign Relations’ covers China’s Foreign Policy and the relations between China and the United States, China and the Korean Peninsula, China and its other neighbors. Part Ⅱ ‘Korea’s Foreign Relations’ is consisted of Korea’s diplomatic relations with China, the United States, Japan and other neighboring countries. Part Ⅲ ‘The Public Diplomacy’ deals with issues such as universities, locals and enterprises, language and communication, and multicultural society. The contributors and interviewees have wide spectrum from senior government officials, professors, think-tankers, to ordinary people and students. The book will be a supportive reference for both Korean and foreign readers who are interested in Korea-China relations.
Q. How are you observing the rise of China?
A. China that is on the rise while US in retreat constitute a major driving force behind a new round of adjustment in the world power structure. China’s economic success has captured the imagination of the world. Thanks to sustained and rapid economic growth, Chinese living standards have been materially improved, and China now boasts full-fledged infrastructure and a manufacturing sector of depth and width. China’s influence is also on the rise in terms of its system, culture, military and in other domains, thus giving China more voice and weight in international affairs.
Q. Will how China-US relations evolve shape global political architecture in the years ahead?
A. The “Power transition” theory envisions that the established power would not readily relinquish power to the rising power, while the rising power will use its rapidly accrued strength to explore overseas markets, build up military power, monopolize cutting-edge technologies, and purge the established power, all aiming to change the existing order and norms and attain global privilege that is on par with its new found power, which means upending the old order. When the rising power unseats the established power and thus completes the transition, it marks the onset of a new world order. History suggests that “Power transition” in modern times took place invariably between western powers and fierce competition was a hallmark, though they hailed from more or less the same history, culture and system. So here the “Power transition” in its essence is leadership transition within one and the same political and civilization ecosystem.
Q. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a global topic these days. How will AI impact the international order?
A. In terms of the international configuration, AI may shift the balance of economic and military power among countries, empower the non-stateactors in an unprecedented way and intensify international technological competition. With regard to international norms, AI is likely to change the forms and principles of war, thus exerting an impact on the existing international laws and ethics. The security and governance challenges brought by AI require the collective response of the humanity, and that countries, when discussing and exploring future international norms governing AI, may proceed from the vision of building a community with a shared future for all mankind, as well as the concept of common security.
China is a strong neighbor to Korea. Before the Cold War, China could not have an influence on Korea’s foreign affairs and security environment. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in August 1992, however, China has become an inseparable relationship in Korea’s security and economy. The United States, on the other hand, as the existing ally, is in an absolute relationship to Korea. This is the fact in East Asia, or at least on the Korean Peninsula, as the term G2 stands for the two powers, the United State and China.
Two years ago, The Korea Times was the media outlet that desired to observe China. The media is an appropriate way to follow up on every move of China. However, there is a limit in observing China in a long perspective, analyze on certain issues, and to interesting views from various perspectives.
In this time, by chance, I met professor Jaeho Hwang from Division of International Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. As we shared thoughts, we could reach a point to create the ‘China Watcher’ column on the website of The Korea Times. The plan was to open a space where people from various fields, including government officials, diplomats, businessmen, and even ordinary people and students, can contribute.
In the beginning, professor Hwang mentioned the goal to contribute one article every week, however, I personally concerned if it would be possible. This is because once a week is never easy. It requires finding the contributors, interviewees, and work in English. Now I can tell this was an unnecessary concern. Over the past two years, more than 70 articles have been well published.
I suggested professor Hwang that it is important to share these meaningful works online, but what if we could publish it offline. It would be very significant to make a physical book in offline space, since it will be realizing the memories into a vivid reality. I have no doubt that this book will be a great opportunity for foreigners, students, and English speaking citizens to understand Korea’s perspective on China. We look forward to meeting China Watcher, the second volume.
The Korea Times Publisher