South Korean Attitude towards China: Threat Perception, Economic Interest, and National Identity

Heon Joo Jung, Han Wool Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In the context of growing tensions in East Asia over territorial disputes and history issues, one can observe the rise of anti-Chinese sentiments among South Koreans in the early 2010s although many South Koreans had positive views on China a decade earlier. What affects South Korean attitude toward China? Despite China's significance to South Korea, there have been surprisingly few scholarly works attempting to answer this question. Based on an empirical analysis of survey data, this paper finds that Koreans' favorable attitude towards China is negatively affected by threat perception of China's military buildup, opposition to an FTA with China, and exclusive national identity but not by whether or not one feels threatened by the American unilateralism and Japan's remilitarization. This finding suggests that South Koreans' feeling toward China is primarily affected by bilateral relationship rather than by balancing behaviors in consideration of broader security environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-264
Number of pages23
JournalAfrican and Asian Studies
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'South Korean Attitude towards China: Threat Perception, Economic Interest, and National Identity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this