Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations

Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations

by Odd Arne Westad
Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations

Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations

by Odd Arne Westad


    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, September 28
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


From an award-winning historian, a concise overview of the deep and longstanding ties between China and the Koreas, providing an essential foundation for understanding East Asian geopolitics today.

In a concise, trenchant overview, Odd Arne Westad explores the cultural and political relationship between China and the Koreas over the past 600 years.

Koreans long saw China as a mentor. The first form of written Korean employed Chinese characters and remained in administrative use until the twentieth century. Confucianism, especially Neo-Confucian reasoning about the state and its role in promoting a virtuous society, was central to the construction of the Korean government in the fourteenth century. These shared Confucian principles were expressed in fraternal terms, with China the older brother and Korea the younger. During the Ming Dynasty, mentor became protector, as Korea declared itself a vassal of China in hopes of escaping ruin at the hands of the Mongols. But the friendship eventually frayed with the encroachment of Western powers in the nineteenth century. Koreans began to reassess their position, especially as Qing China seemed no longer willing or able to stand up for Korea against either the Western powers or the rising military threat from Meiji Japan. The Sino-Korean relationship underwent further change over the next century as imperialism, nationalism, revolution, and war refashioned states and peoples throughout Asia. Westad describes the disastrous impact of the Korean War on international relations in the region and considers Sino-Korean interactions today, especially the thorny question of the reunification of the Korean peninsula.

Illuminating both the ties and the tensions that have characterized the China-Korea relationship, Empire and Righteous Nation provides a valuable foundation for understanding a critical geopolitical dynamic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674238213
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 01/12/2021
Series: The Edwin O. Reischauer Lectures , #14
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 1,138,483
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Odd Arne Westad is Elihu Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale University. A fellow of the British Academy, he is the author of Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750 and The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times, which won the Bancroft Prize.

Table of Contents

List of Maps ix

Introduction 1

1 China and the Choson State: The Making of Sino-Korean Relations, 1392-1866 5

2 The Internationalization of East Asia: China, Korea, and the World, 1866-1992 71

3 China and Korea Today 134

Conclusion: What Can We Learn from History about China-Korea Relations? 161

Notes 175

Acknowledgments 195

Index 197

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews