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China Briefings

Reports on China issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

China’s Strategy for East Asian Markets and East Asia’s Response

China’s Strategy for East Asian Markets and East Asia’s Response

PARK Bun-Soon

Jan. 19, 2012

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The rise of China and changes of the global environment have realigned China’s relationship with East Asia. With China’s desire to raise its voice in the world, it seeks to further economic growth harnessing the Asian market. To that end, it provides large amounts of economic aid to pioneer the export market and increase investment.

Also, China is realizing regional integration with the continental Southeast Asia through direct investment and aid. Its development assistance has become an important source for infrastructure development for underdeveloped countries while contributing to the growth of China’s soft power. In particular, China invests heavily in transportation infrastructure to connect Southeast Asia and China.

The influence of China’s economic rise is not only restricted to the economic area. It poses challenges to the politics and security of the Asian region. Therefore, countries in the region strive to keep China in check while gaining the full benefits from its rise. Japan has signed FTAs with Southeast Asia while inviting countries out of the region to the East Asia Summit. And Southeast Asia has raised its efforts to establish a political, economic and social community. Meanwhile, the US is leading the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Against this backdrop, Korea needs to maintain its hold on the East Asian market while putting more effort in economic cooperation with the region. To achieve this goal, Korea should raise its soft power, pursuing mutually beneficial trade and offering knowledge such as economic development. In addition, it should fulfill the role of mediator in the Northeast Asia and responsible partner of ASEAN, contributing to the integration of East Asia.

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