Chapter 4 ROC-ROK International Fate

Decolonization, Democratization, and Pragmatism

In: Assessing the Landscape of Taiwan and Korean Studies in Comparison

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Dramatic geopolitical developments such as the Chinese Civil War, World War II, and The Korean War, along with the status inside of the United Nations (UN) created the grounds for the diplomatic position of Taiwan and South Korea in Twentieth century global politics that persists unto the present. Years later, economic development and democratization would also be important factors in the elaboration of these countries’ foreign policies, as well as the maintenance or expansion of their international space, and their responses to the challenges posed by their powerful neighbors who claim those territories. This chapter discusses some elements that played essential roles, first from 1949 until 1971 when both Koreans and Taiwanese were fighting for their place inside the UN, and later from 1972 to the present, when the Sino-American rapprochement changed the balance of power in the region.