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10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/11/S12.091

JAPAN AND CHINA STRUGGLE FOR INFLUENCE OVER THE KOREAN PENINSULA

S. A. Barov, Y. S. Medvedev, E. G. Solntseva, N. A. Bogdanova
Tuesday 10 April 2018 by lib_admin

References: 5th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2018, www.sgemvienna.org, SGEM2018 Vienna ART Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-30-0 / ISSN 2367-5659, 19 - 21 March, 2018, Vol. 5, Issue 1.1; 717-724 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/11/S12.091

ABSTRACT

The article is devoted to the topical issue of the struggle between China and Japan for political and economic influence over the Korean peninsula in the modern era. After the division of Korea into two hostile states in the middle of 1950-s, the struggle of world powers for influence over the peninsula has not ceased for nearly 70 years. In recent decades, in addition to the traditional actors as the United States and Russia China which is rapidly gaining power has joined the struggle. In response to the China’s business economic penetration into the region and the increasingly harsh military and political rhetoric of Beijing, Japan seeks to pursue a political-military course more independent from the United States and rigid against China, abandoning its peaceful foreign policy and military doctrine, thus provoking North Korea and China to more militarization in the view of the memories of the Japanese occupation of their territories during World War II, simultaneously fueling distrust in Japanese initiatives in both South Korea and the United States. At the present stage the development of relations in the geopolitical triangle of China-Japan-Korea is characterized by a number of factors that can be divided into two main topics: military-political settlement on the Korean peninsula and economic dialogue among China, Japan and South Korea on economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region. The intertwining of the economic interests of the countries in the region, which is gradually becoming the new center of the world economy, unsettled historical and territorial disputes, bloc mentality that has survived here, despite the end of the Cold War, forms a complex set of contradictions.
North Korea’s development of nuclear weapon and the numerous tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles, combined with the constant military exercises of the United States, Japan and South Korea at the borders of North Korea, backed by the bellicose rhetoric of DPRK’s leader Kim Jong-un and the administration of new US president, D. Trump, give the old conflicts a new dimension, threatening to turn into a large-scale war in the region and plunge the world into a "nuclear apocalypse". According to the authors, under these conditions, the hopes of the Korean people for reunification are pushed to the "second place", but the new China’s initiatives supported by Russia and the pragmatic approach of the Japanese leadership to the issues of preserving peace and common interaction in the region can reduce tension, prevent negative scenarios and direct development of the situation in a constructive direction, once again bringing the topic of economic cooperation to the forefront.

Keywords: Japan, China, South Korea, North Korea, military-political strategy, economic interaction, territorial disputes, nuclear program.


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