Author: Dr Gilbert Rozman, Dr Chu Shulong
A new framework for Northeast Asian security must cope with the legacy of six decades of frequent changes in the region’s great power relations. In order to realize the goals of the Joint Agreement in the Six-Party Talks, multilateralism is becoming more important. U.S. leadership faces challenges from: the Sino-U.S. rivalry that is better managed because of cooperation over North Korea; the Russo-U.S. rivalry that has intensified, although there is potential to stabilize it in this region; Sino-Russian partnership, which has drawn closer in response to the nuclear crisis but could be tested by progress that would reveal conflicting national interests; North Korean belligerence, which is unlikely to end even if the nuclear crisis is brought under control; South Korean balancing, which would remain even under a conservative president; and Sino-Japanese rivalry, which is somewhat under control in 2007 but remains the main barrier to regionalism. A U.S. regional strategy is needed that addresses all of these challenges in the context of the Six-Party Talks.