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‘Beijing likely to retaliate for closer Seoul-Washington ties’

‘Beijing likely to retaliate for closer Seoul-Washington ties’

Posted January. 01, 2022 07:44,   

Updated January. 01, 2022 07:44


John J. Mearsheimer (75), an emeritus professor of the University of Chicago and authority in international politics, had New Year’s interview with The Dong-A Ilbo. “The stronger China becomes, the bigger security threat to Korea will be,” he said, commenting on conflict between Washington and Beijing. “Whoever becomes the next South Korean president, what kind of ties South Korea and the U.S. will forge is the most important matter.”

As Mearsheimer said as Chinese President Xi Jinping consolidated his long-term control of government by securing his three-consecutive terms, and thus Beijing seeks to become a hegemony exceeding Washington’s power and influence, it will increase pressure on South Korea. Mearsheimer, who is the most influential realistic theorist, is considered the expert who has most accurately predicted hegemonic competition between Washington and Beijing.

“The world is entering a second Cold War,” Mearsheimer said. “China will have power on par with the U.S. soon, and if it continues economic growth over the next 30 years, it will become the most powerful country in the world, surpassing the U.S. There is a strong chance that the U.S. and China will stage a war over Taiwan within the next 15 years.”

“Committing on South Korea’s so called ‘diplomacy of security with the U.S. and diplomacy of economy with China,” Mearsheimer said it would be ‘height of foolish’ for “South Korea not to concentrate on the Seoul-Washington alliance.”

As evidenced by the Terminal High-Altitude Missile Defense system (THAAD), the stronger China’s threat becomes, the more South Korea will have to seek its survival through security cooperation with Washington. “If South Korea and Japan closely cooperate with each other, they will be able to better cope with China’s threat,” he advised.