Sejong Policy Briefs
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Sejong Policy Briefs

China’s Strategy for its Rising as a Great Power and Challenges for South Korea
2019.04.04  Thursday
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Jae-hung Chung

China’s Strategy for its Rising as a Great Power and

Challenges for South Korea

Jaehung Chung

Research Fellow, the Sejong Institute


Excutive Summary


China shows confidence that it has grown as a global power, which speaks on par with the U.S., through the rapid economic growth and its success in 40 years of reformation and Open Door Policy.


At the 19th National Congress, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xi Jinping proposed the achievement of “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the Chinese dream” by 2050 as a national slogan. Currently China pushes ahead with the dream of becoming a rich and powerful nation so that it can soon compete with the U.S. as a global power.


Henceforth, China has established a grand strategy of constructing a new regional order, which China takes the lead, and its goal of becoming a modern, socialist superpower with Chinese characteristics until 2050. To achieve such objective, China is highly likely to use diverse means, such as military oppression and economic compensation, against neighboring countries.


So as to proceed with its strategy of becoming a military power, China presented a blueprint for mid- and long-term objectives: improvement in strategic capabilities through mechanization and informatization by 2020, accomplishment of military modernization by 2035, and construction of a top-tier military by 2050.

In the midst of maintaining the path of peaceful development as a new concept of relationship among superpowers, China shapes its great power strategy by building “a community of shared future for mankind” and constructing a “new type of international relations.” Also, China has revealed its intention to promote a new Chinese-led foreign policy which would expand its role as a responsible power in the international community.

At the 19th National Congress of the CPC, President Xi firmly established his authority of one-man rule. He is accelerating China’s transformation as a great power
domestically implementing strong anti-corruption and political reforms; externally expressing a firm stance that China will not be unilaterally pushed back in regional hegemonic competition against the U.S.


In the future, South Korea needs to seek balanced development of ROK-U.S. relations and ROK-China relations, to closely coordinate with China for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the establishment of a peace regime, and to pursue a new ROK-China relationship after THADD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) dispute.

To this end, it is desirable for South Korea and China to strengthen their cooperation in North Korea policy through summit talks and persuade Chairman Kim Jong-un to make decision about denuclearization to the level of satisfaction for the international community at an early date. Furthermore, South Korea should make sincere diplomatic efforts to ensure President Xi’s visit to Seoul at the earliest possible moment.