[ICS-EAIR Forum] The Limits of Hedging and South Korea’s Place in the Indo-Pacific
Date June 9, 2021 Time 1.30p.m. - 3.00p.m. Venue ZOOM Webinar Language English
As US-Sino competition intensifies, small and middle powers across the Indo-Pacific region are grappling with the same dilemma: how best to navigate their relations between two great powers. Although some US allies have bolstered their ties to the United States to balance against increased threats from China, South Korea has adopted a more cautious approach, choosing to hedge between Beijing and Washington. In this lecture, Professor Yeo argues that such hedging strategies remain untenable if US-Sino rivalry continues to escalate. East Asian countries such as South Korea need not necessarily choose one side. However, to protect itself from strategic vulnerability, economic coercion, and/or diplomatic fall-out, Seoul must actively engage with the region’s evolving institutional architecture.