Program on US-China Relations


Thematic Research

Director: Jae-Ho Chung (Dept. of Political Science and Int’l Relations)
Co-Researchers: Doohwan Ahn (Dept. of Political Science and Int’l Relations), Hunjoon Kim (Korea Univ.),
Jonghee Park (Dept. of Political Science and Int’l Relations)

− Aims at enhancing scholarly understandings of U.S.-China relations as the most important variable in the international
politics of the 21st century
− Assesses the prospect and process of a possible power transition between the U.S. and China
− Explores policy options for Korea given the structuration of strategic competition between the U.S. and China
− Seeks to establish scholarly and policy-relevant communities of research on U.S.-China relations
− Reaches out to domestic and overseas scholars on the theme through monthly seminars, workshops and track-2 networks

Decoding Mutual Perceptions between the Hegemonic and

Challenging StatesResearch Topics
PUCR’s main objective is to perform research on assessing China’s “rise” and the possibility of “power transition,” as well as empirical research on how US-China relations are likely to affect the strategic landscape in East Asia and the Korean peninsula. In the period of 2014-2015, PUCR held seminars and academic workshops and carried out research projects on the effects of mutual perceptions between the hegemons and challengers from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. By focusing on the actual case of power transition between the United Kingdom and the United States and comparing it with the 21st-century dynamics be­tween the US and China, PUCR seeks to devise a formula for a peaceful power transition.

Major Research Outcomes}
PUCR’s research activities in 2015 can be summarized into the follow­ing three main areas. First, PUCR held a total of six monthly seminars where renowned US-China relations experts from both Korea and abroad made presentations and shared their insights on the theme. Among them, two were round tables specifically dealing with Korea’s diplomacy between Washington and China.

Second, in November 2015, PUCR hosted the 4th policy dialogue on US-China relations as a continuation of the academic workshop series inaugurated in 2013. The policy dialogue was jointly organized with the Policy Alternative Research Institute (PARI) of the Univ. of Tokyo. The workshop consisted of three sessions on US-China relations, Northeast Asian security, and Korea-China relations and Japan-China relations.

Third, as the outcome of the research project of the 2015 academic year, an edited volume entitled International Politics of Peaceful Power Tran­sition (in Korean, SNU Press) was published in March 2016. This is the second monograph of the PUCR while the first of the series was Jae Ho Chung (ed.), Assessing Studies of US-China Relations (SSNU Press, 2014).

Future Challenges and Outlook
In 2016, PUCR plans to continue with its successful activities. A total of 10 seminars and workshops will be held, in addition to the policy dialogue and other research projects. In 2016, PUCR will hold two workshops overseas, first in China and second in Singapore. The PUCR’s activities for the academic year of 2016 will also be supported in part by the Korea Research Foundation.