Asan Plenum

The challenge for the rest of us in the Asia-Pacific region including South Korea and Japan is to work with China effectively in order to construct a liberal international order, while effectively dealing with possible Chinese unilateralism ultimately backed up by its military might. For the latter task, self-efforts by South Korea nor Japan alone are far from being sufficient, let alone complete, where the security presence of the United States in the region is an absolute necessity. For the task of engaging China in the liberal international order, South Korea and Japan would need to continue to build networks of cooperation at various levels between themselves as well as with other like-minded countries in East Asia such as Australia. If neither of hedging nor engagement would work sufficiently, the third way should be a persistent and patient “civil society strategy” with which to build robust civil society relationships among South Korea, Japan and China.