In the context of growing tensions in East Asia over territorial disputes and history issues, one can observe the rise of anti-Chinese sentiments among South Koreans in the early 2010s although many South Koreans had positive views on China a decade earlier. What affects South Korean attitude toward China? Despite China's significance to South Korea, there have been surprisingly few scholarly works attempting to answer this question. Based on an empirical analysis of survey data, this paper finds that Koreans' favorable attitude towards China is negatively affected by threat perception of China's military buildup, opposition to an FTA with China, and exclusive national identity but not by whether or not one feels threatened by the American unilateralism and Japan's remilitarization. This finding suggests that South Koreans' feeling toward China is primarily affected by bilateral relationship rather than by balancing behaviors in consideration of broader security environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science