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|제목||A South China Sea Conflict and the ROK’s Cooperation with the United States|
|영문 키워드||U.S.-China competition, gray zone conflict, South China Sea, ROK-U.S. Alliance, Global Pivotal State|
Considering the ROK's regional cooperation with the U.S., mutual solidarity with ASEAN countries, and the SLOC security in the South China Sea, the ROK will support U.S. diplomatic efforts to bolster international norms in the South China Sea. Nevertheless, the ROK might be cautious about its full-blown or military support to the U.S., which could result in China's diplomatic protests and economic reprisals. In this regard, the ROK might prefer to participate in a joint statement through a NATO or UN-level entity rather than through the Quad-Plus that entails a significant risk of Chinese retaliation against regional neighbors. At the same time, the ROK will likely enhance its ODA to ASEAN countries after the gray zone crisis and strengthen its maritime security cooperation with the Philippines but is unlikely to participate in a U.S.-led group sail related to freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.