Common sense states that foreign policy rarely becomes an issue in South Korea’s elections. However, given the unusually high anti-China sentiment among the South Korean public today, some view that it may become an “unspoken agenda” that every South Korean voter is cognizant about. As Seoul and Beijing mark their 30th diplomatic anniversary this year, their mutual attraction appears visibly moderated. Is it a temporary setback in the neighboring countries’ relationship? What choices will Kim Jong-un make under strategic competition between the U.S. and China? The panel will examine the factors that will shape and influence the future prospect of the Seoul-Beijing ties and the relationship between North Korea and China.
Seong-hyon Lee is a Senior Fellow at the George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations and a visiting scholar at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. His research focuses on contemporary relations between China and South Korea. Lee received a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College, a master’s degree from Harvard University and a PhD from Tsinghua University.
Sheen Woo, Special Policy Advisor to the South Korean Ambassador in China, joined the Korea Program at Shorenstein APARC as a 2021-22 visiting scholar. He is a specialist in China-North Korea relations with expertise in Chinese aid and sanctions against North Korea. He has worked at and with a variety of organizations including NGOs, start-ups, art centers, and state-run think tanks in Korea and China. While at APARC, his research focus is on the development and changes of China's aid to North Korea. He holds a PhD in Management Science from Tsinghua University.
Gi-Wook Shin, director of APARC and the Korea Program, will moderate the discussion.