Tài liệu Republic of korea – vietnam strategic cooperative partnership and their ways forward in the new context of global governance change in the 21st century (tt)

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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DIPLOMATIC ACADEMY OF VIETNAM ----------------------------------- PARK NOH WAN REPUBLIC OF KOREA-VIETNAM STRATEGIC COOPERATIVE PARTNERSHIP AND THE WAY FORWARD IN THE NEW CONTEXT OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE CHANGE IN THE 21ST CENTURY Major: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Code : 62 31 0206 SUMMARY OF DOCTORAL DISSERTATION HANOI – 2014 Công trình được hoàn thành tại Học viện Ngoại giao Người hướng dẫn khoa học: PGS. TS. Nguyễn Thái Yên Hương Phản biện 1: Phản biện 2: Phản biện 3: Luận án được bảo vệ trước Hội đồng chấm luận án cấp Học viện họp tại Học viện Ngoại giao vào hồi giờ ngày tháng năm 2014 PREFACE 1. Background of the research Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, the global order and global governance have been changing rapidly. The world is now in the process of an unprecedented transition period. Many experts predict that the future world may shift into the “G-2 (US and China) Era” or “Energy- Climate Era.” Likewise, in the post-Cold War period, the world changed remarkably with rapid globalization. Globalization has played a pivotal role in increasing the total world GDP as well as in facilitating relationships among countries. The world has become unified, and its system has also rapidly changed. Together with a rapid leap in economic growth in the emerging countries such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and Republic of South Africa), the global order and the international system are being newly reshaped and restructured. In the 21st century, relationship adjustments among powers will be one of the main issues in world politics. This transition can be summarized under the following three points: i) structural change in socialist systems, ii) shifts in world power politics, and iii) changes in global actors‟ behavior. In this complicated environment, the global governance change has decisively, and in every aspect, influenced the development of ROK and Vietnam relations. Around the middle of the 1980s, ROK and Vietnam were under pressure to reshape and rejuvenate their foreign policies to swiftly adapt to the changing global order. ROK and Vietnam responded to the reshaped structure in the world order in a timely manner, proclaiming more reform oriented and opened foreign policies to enhance their national interests in the 21st century. This contributed to help establishing diplomatic normalization between the two countries in 1992, and developing the current astonishing achievements of the bilateral relationship over just twenty years. With the global governance change, both ROK and Vietnam need to draw up a new strategic cooperative framework and search for a new 1 cooperative model. Therefore it is of great significance to conduct research on the two countries‟ foreign policy responses to global governance change and their recent relations in all sectors, and to consider how both countries might seek out cooperative ways forward in the medium and long term periods in the 21st century. 2. Literature Review There have been many books, articles and research papers analyzing “global governance”. “Global governance” is a rather vague and broad term, difficult to define. The Commission on Global Governance defines its subject very generally as “the sum of the many ways in which individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is a continuing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and cooperative action taken”. However, the meaning of the term varies depending on the person employing it or the circumstances in which it is used. The term does not have a precise definition because there is really no general consensus about its meaning. Generally, “Global governance” is a useful concept as a descriptive tool for international cooperation; however, it has its limitations as an analytic framework to explain the cause and effect relationship between cooperation and conflict. Authors like James Rosenau have also used “Governance” to denote the regulation of interdependent relations in the absence of an overarching political authority, such as in the international system. From a slightly different perspective Robert Gilpin proposes Hegemonic Stability Theory (HST), arguing that the international system is more likely to remain stable when a single nation-state is the dominant world power, maintaining a hegemony. Regarding the global governance mechanism after the end of the Cold War, there are a number of views. Joseph Nye considers that the various and complex transnational connections and interdependencies between states and societies have been increasing, while the use of military force and power balancing is decreasing, although it still remains important. The 2 article by James Petras entitled “China: Rise, Fall, and Re-emergence as a Global Power” proposes a different view: China will replace the United States to become a leading world economic power over the next decade. However, China has seriously lagged behind the United States and Europe in building an aggressive war-making capacity. Nevertheless, the leadership in regulating world order is gradually shifting to the emerging countries. The article in the Financial Times entitled “The End of US hegemony: Legacy of 9/11” argues that while the United States still possesses overwhelming power, it no longer plays the role of hegemon. Regarding the reform of the United Nations, Thomas G Weiss, David P Fasythe and Roger A Coate in “The United Nations and Changing World Politics” take up three key issues: international peace and security; human rights and the growing influence of non-state actors; and sustainable development/eco-development. However, this work cannot provide a clearcut answer to the main issues which the UN is now facing. The key issue of the UN is how to reform the Security Council. With accelerated globalization, unprecedented global issues have arisen. A number of books, journals, articles dealing with global issues such as climate change, poverty, terrorism, and human rights, are now being published. Among them are the “UN International Panel Convention Climate Change (IPCCC) Report” and the “Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change” by Nicholas Stern. However, there are many conceivable ways to address such global issues. Regarding the ROK-Vietnam Strategic Cooperative Partnership and its prospects in the context of global governance change, the article by Do Hai Nam, Ngo Xuan Binh and Sung-Yeul Koo in “Economic Cooperation between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea in the East Asian Integration” notes that while relations between ROK and Vietnam were inaugurated during the second half of the 1980s, the ties remained limited to commercial trade. Around that time, ROK and Vietnam proclaimed new foreign policies to respond to the rapid changing in international environment. ROK opened its “Northern Diplomacy,” while Vietnam adopted “Doi Moi (Reform and 3 Open Door Policy)” in 1986. These two diplomatic policies provided the greatest impulse to strengthen ROK-Vietnam relations and bring them to their present state. In this regard, Alexander Lam Vuving‟s “The Shaping of Foreign Policy: Vietnamese Grand Strategy after the Cold War” sheds light on the reconstruction of Vietnamese diplomacy in the new world order. Charles K Amstrong‟s article entitled “South Korea‟s Northern Policy” examines the ROK‟s response, focusing on the importance attached to dialogue and lessening tensions with North Korea and its communist allies. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between ROK and Vietnam in 1992, numerous studies of bilateral ties have been published. Most focus on the development of economic and cultural but not political relations. The article entitled “Vietnam-Korea Strategic Cooperative Partnership” in The World and Vietnam magazine and the study by Do Hai Nam, Ngo Xuan Binh and Sung Yeul Koo in “Economic Cooperation between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea in the East Asian Integration” both present new insights into the remarkable development of ROKVietnam relations over the last 20 years. These publications argue the unprecedented development has occurred because both countries lie geographically in the “East Asian cultural region”, with its salient characteristics of patriotism, intelligence and skill, passion for study and industriousness in work. It was against this background that the two countries‟ relations were upgraded to “Strategic Cooperative Partnership” in 2009 from the “Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership” in 2001. However, there have been very few books which attempt to examine “comprehensively Vietnam –ROK strategic cooperative relations and their future direction” in the context of global governance change in the 21st century. Ngo Xuan Binh‟s book entitled “The Relationship between Vietnam and South Korea in the New International Context” suggests new ideas on upgrading the bilateral relationship to “Strategic Cooperative Partnership” in the 21st century. However, the book fails to put forward more detailed strategic directions in response to the shifting pattern of 4 recent world governance, and also does not clarify the fundamental principles, global and regional, on which a comprehensive 21st century “strategic cooperative partnership” should be based. 3. The objectives and tasks of the research The dissertation focuses on solving the following tasks: 1) Studying the importance of the changing process and characteristics of global governance mechanisms in contemporary world history 2) Finding possible ways of defining international/regional/bilateral special events and situations by international political theory 3) Trying to clarify the implications of these developments and approaches for the Asian region, especially ROK and Vietnam, and analyzing possible ways forward for both countries as they respond to bilateral issues that might arise in the future 4) Highlighting the role of ROK and Vietnam as facilitators or bridges to resolve global and regional issues, while continuing to construct the more cooperative relationships between the two nations 5) Showing realistic way for ROK and Vietnam to upgrade and develop their relations in all sectors, including political and military cooperation 6) Proposing some recommendations for a “ROK-Vietnam new mid and long term strategic vision”, a new strategic cooperative model in the years to come. 4. Scope of the research The period covered by this study shall be limited to that extending from the end of the Cold War in 1991 to 2020. The dissertation analyzes the global governance structure that was formed after the Second World War in 1945. It then provides an overview of global and regional governance changes and their recent characteristics from the end of the Cold War to the present. It also analyzes the responses of ROK and Vietnam to the global governance change during this period. The analysis of the strategic cooperative partnership between ROK and Vietnam begins from 1992, 5 when the two countries established their diplomatic relations, and continues to cover the following 30 years. Regarding subject matter, the dissertation takes up the reshaping of relations among major international actors, especially the United States and China, along with international organizations such as UN, IMF, WB, OECD, APEC, ASEM and ASEAN. It will also analyze power redistribution trends among the great powers and examine their foreign policies in the East Asia region. The dissertation pays particular attention to the foreign policies of ROK and Vietnam in response to global governance change from the middle of the 1980s to the present. 5. Research methods The dissertation avoids technical discussion as much as possible, focusing first on developing a narrative of the great changes in global order and governance, and highlighting their distinguishing features and implications. Subsequently, after the post Cold War, ROK and Vietnam relations within this framework are discussed with reference, where appropriate, to political economy and international relations theory. Again, where appropriate, the author makes use of historical, logical, statistical, comparative and mathematical approaches, time series analysis, and so on. Additionally, the dialectic method is used to show the unity in the policies and actions of the US in the world as well as in the East Asian region, in order to explain how the US can politically affect regional politics. 6. The contribution of the dissertation 1) The dissertation is the first work done in Vietnam to provide indepth analysis on ROK-Vietnam relations in the context of global governance change from the end of the Cold War to the present in a complete and systematic manner. 2) The dissertation endeavors to analyze the advantages, disadvantages and prospects for each field of bilateral cooperation, as well as to propose various recommendations to enhance cooperative efficiency in the coming years. 6 3) The dissertation studies the bilateral relations between ROK and Vietnam as well as the relations of the two countries with China, the United States and other international actors, which helps to deepen the readers‟ knowledge of international relations. 4) The dissertation provides reference material for the teaching and studying of world history, global governance theory and international relations, especially the relations between Vietnam and ROK, at universities, colleges, institutes, and research centers. 5) The dissertation should be a useful reference source for foreignpolicy decision makers and planners on Vietnam‟s relations with ROK. 7. The structure of the dissertation Apart from the Introduction, the Conclusion and the Appendix, the dissertation will be organized in three chapters as follows: i. Chapter 1 analyzes “Global Governance Changes and Their Characteristics” (including its early form and the transition process) ii. Chapter 2 describes policy responses of ROK and Vietnam to Global and Regional Governance Change since 1991” iii. Chapter 3 analyzes “Current ROK-Vietnam Bilateral Relations and the Way Forward in the Context of Global and Regional Governance Change in the 21st Century”. CHAPTER 1: GLOBAL GOVERNANCE CHANGES AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS 1.1. Global Governance: Definition and Framework 1.1.1. Global Governance: Definition and Analytical Usefulness The Commission on Global Governance defines its subject in general terms as “the sum of the many ways in which individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs”. Thomas G. Weiss, Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, defines “global governance” as “collective efforts to identify, understand or address world- 7 wide problems that go beyond the capacity of individual States to solve.” The concept of global governance remains vague but it is still a useful tool for the analysis of international politics. In this dissertation, the author prefers to use Thomas G. Weiss‟ definition. 1.1.2. Global Governance Transition and Its Structure The site and scope of governance have changed over the past several centuries. This changing pattern has been influenced by various factors such as world wars and globalization. After the Second World War in 1945, the United States and the U.S.S.R maintained high profiles in world politics. However, another overlapping basic framework for maintaining international order also existed, centering around the following organizations: one main pillar was the United Nations, others were the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The former contributed to set up political governance system, the latter mainly played key roles to form economic governance system. After the Middle East war in 1971, the economic strength of the United States decreased and there were changes in the distribution of economic power due to the comparative rise of some new emergent blocs and countries such as EU and China. This global governance framework referred to above existed continuously until the end of the Cold War in 1991. 1.2. Governance Structure Changes and Their Characteristics 1.2.1. Structural Change Background: The End of the Cold War In 1991, the collapse of the Soviet Union not only precipitated changes in global governance without any major war but also led to the collapse of the socialist economic bloc. Most of the socialist countries integrated into the Western economic system, embracing the principle “market economy and democracy.” As a result, the world, with rapid globalization, gradually became a more integrated one. The previous bipolar world order was replaced by a brief Pax-Americana, a mono-hegemony centered on the United States. 8 Since the beginning of the 21st century, as a result of a rapid leap in economic growth, newly emerging countries such as BRICS have appeared, forming a strong political grouping, and gradually upgrading both their economic power and their voice in the international community. These trends have brought about a strong pressure for the re-adjustment of global governance structure to take account of the changing relationship between the emerging and advanced countries. In addition, challenging global issues such as drugs, terrorism, poverty and climate change have become more serious. These are difficult to solve effectively as each country remains deeply attached to its sovereignty and right to address them autonomously. Moreover, the recent global financial crisis triggered by the United States and Europe has increased pressure for reshaping the global economic governance system. 1.2.2. Characteristics of Recent Global Governance Change 1.2.2.1. Transition into Multi-Polar System: Declining US & Rising China From the end of the World War II to the 1990s, the basic international system was a bipolar system, the so-called “Cold War”, an ideological competition system between the US and the USSR. In 1991, the collapse of the former Soviet Union meant that the US remained as the sole superpower, and the world shifted briefly to a mono-hegemonic system. Now the leadership of the world order is gradually shifting to the emerging countries, while the US, though it still possesses overwhelming power, no longer occupies the role of hegemon. It is predicted that China will overtake the US as the world‟s largest economy sometime around 2020. As a result of a rapid leap in economic growth since the beginning of the st 21 century, the newly emerging countries such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have expanded their influence and voice in the international community, forming a strong political grouping. They have also emerged as powerful growth drivers for the world economy. 1.2.2.2. Strengthening Regionalism: Expansion of Economic Blocks 9 In the post-Cold War world, regionalism is emerging as a compromise between nationalism and globalism in both geopolitics and geo-economics. With the rapid progress in globalization and interdependence, the world is getting narrower and also deepening global interdependence. Regional cooperation has also been strengthened since the end of the Cold War. The EU, NAFTA, APEC, ASEAN and MERCOSUR have emerged as the most significant regional blocs in the world economic system. Nowadays, in the context of a fierce competition between developed economies to promote Free Trade Agreements (FTA), the region‟s economies are growing quickly. In the future, a new FTA bloc will be formed around three axes, namely the United States, Europe and Asia. Moreover, there have appeared many regional and multinational economic entities to facilitate trade and investment among nations. Recently, the “Doha Round” has been pushing to strengthen and deepen the world trade order. 1.2.2.3. Global Issues and Limitation of the Roles of the UN and G8 Nowadays, there are many issues like drugs, terrorism, poverty and climate climate change, which should be addressed urgently through friendly cooperation and intensive policy coordination among international actors. However, it is difficult to form a consensus among nations on these questions as they touch upon sovereignty and self- determination. Meanwhile, in addressing these global issues, the role and functions of international organizations such as the UN and G8 have become much weaker and they have been criticized for not acting in time. This is especially true of urgent transnational issues which need a global response, such as the recent financial crisis, climate change, hunger elimination and poverty reduction. 1.3. Global Governance: Reshaping and Prospects 1.3.1. Possibility of Global Governance Reshaping The global governance system faces a double-facet crises: one is legitimacy, the other is effectiveness. "Legitimacy" means that the present global governance system, created in the era of the “Rise of the West”, 10 cannot respond to the widening political gaps between the existing global structure and the newly changing realities of global power distribution where the BRICs is emerging as a powerful political entity. At the same time, "effectiveness" implies that the present global system cannot control and manage the world peace and prosperity effectively. It is becoming weaker as time goes on. The world is looking for a new global governance architecture that includes both developed countries and emerging countries. Various alternatives have been proposed by world leaders for a new basic structure of world order and for measures to reform the existing global governance. Recently, some possible ways for managing the international monetary system effectively and stably have been discussed in G-20. 1.3.2. Reshaping Prospects of Global Governance With rapid globalization, the global governance has become unstable. Financial crises have become recurrent, uncertainty haunts world markets. These trends have given rise to strong pressures for the re-adjustment of global governance structures to take account of the new relationship between the emerging countries and the advanced countries. With their growing economic power and position, the emerging economies centering around the BRICS will try to reshape the existing governance regime, which has been dominated by Western countries like the United States, Japan and EU. It is also predicted that, with the rise of newly emergent countries, the unilateral US hegemony in the world politics might be loosened. The role of G-8 may also be weakened. Instead, G-20, which includes the BRICS countries as its members, might take over the role of controlling world economic order in its capacity as the highest level multilateral economic organization. Moreover, within the existing basic framework, the world order may move to a bipolar system – G2, in which, the United States and China assume the key roles. Global issues like drugs, terrorism, poverty and climate change are emerging. There can also influence the reshaping of the global governance 11 1.4. Regional Governance Change in East Asia 1.4.1. General Overview The 21st century is considered the era of the East-Asia region. In fact, the East Asia region has, since 1992, played a powerful role as an engine for growth in the world economy. Over the past 20 years, in parallel with the changes in global governance, East Asia has also experienced great changes in regional governance. 1.4.2. Northeast Asia: Changes in Regional Cooperation Since the 1990s, Northeast Asia has witnessed remarkable economic development, despite the absence of a leader to resolve disputes, political institutional differences and historical issues. However, the political instability has been getting more serious recently due to North Korean nuclear weapons development territorial disputes between China and Japan and the reemergence of Japanese conservative revisionist ideology. At the same time, Northeast Asia has been constantly upgrading its position and influence in the international arena. 1.4.3. Southeast Asia: Changes in Regional Cooperation Southeast Asia, in addition to being one of the most dynamic regions of the world, is one of the most diverse. This diversity is manifest in its levels of economic development and income, economic regimes and policy challenges. Despite this diversity, several initiatives have been launched towards integration in the region. Southeast Asia has since the 1990s played the leading role in keeping regional peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. In the security area, ASEAN established ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994 to discuss security issues in this region. ASEAN has also made efforts to facilitate trade, investment and personal exchanges throughout the Asia-Pacific region. 12 CHAPTER 2 POLICY RESPONSES OF ROK AND VIETNAM TO GLOBAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNANCE CHANGE SINCE 1991 2.1. Responses of ROK and Vietnam to Global Governance Change 2.1.1. Why was it necessary for ROK and Vietnam to Respond? Currently, ROK and Vietnam are responding flexibly to global changes and also improving their economic and political positions in the international arena. Both nations experienced wars in the Cold War era and began their economic growth with hardly any necessary infrastructure. However they have registered significant achievements. On the other hand, North Korea was unable to demonstrate the flexibility to cope with the transformation of the global governance system and therefore became one of the most backward countries in the world. Obviously, a “positive response to global changes” is of great importance. 2.1.2. ROK’s Policy Responses After the end of the World War II, ROK‟s regional diplomacy was affected by the Cold War. To protect its national security and promote economic development, ROK became one of the closest friends of the United States during the Cold War era. With the dawn of the end of the Cold War in the middle of the 1980s, ROK adopted a “Northern Policy.” ROK has pursued strong alliance diplomacy with the United States on the one hand, and, focusing on diplomatic normalization with the socialist countries, balanced multilateral diplomacy on the other. ROK also has very positively and smoothly responded to the changing global economic governance. As a result, it is one of the few countries that managed the transition from a rural, underdeveloped society to a modern economy in just one generation. 2.1.3. Vietnam’s Policy Responses After reunification in 1975, the top priority of Vietnamese diplomacy was to maintain and protect its independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity. Thus, the Vietnamese government was forced to adopt 13 economic and political reforms (Doi Moi), starting in 1986. Vietnam‟s foreign policy became “more pragmatic, flexible and less ideological.” The country continuously expands its international relations on the path of multi-lateralization and diversification, as well as positively responds to global governance change. As a result, it has achieved remarkable development success over the last 25 years. 2.2. Responses of the ROK and Vietnam to Global Economic Crisis 2.2.1. Global Economic Crises and its Structural Trends The global financial crisis and the following fiscal crisis have brought about many changes in the global economy. First, the spread of the crisis was faster and more intense than ever. Second, the issue of trust in governments and markets has emerged. Third, there have been mixed hopes and concerns about emerging markets, which have guided the recovery of the global economy. Fourth, cautious introspection is rising against rapid globalization. Only international cooperation can provide the world with sufficient strength to overcome such crises. 2.2.2. Policy Responses of ROK and Vietnam ROK succeeded in weathering the 1998 financial crisis and has turned the global financial crisis in 2008 into preemptive response strategies for the new global trading order. ROK is also relatively well connected to the outside world. As a result, the country has registered remarkable achievements in terms of economy and globalization rate. Meanwhile, as a small, open, FDI-reliant and export-oriented economy, Vietnam was unavoidably affected by the global financial crisis in late 2008. However, the country has been quite successful in weathering the external shocks of this crisis. Vietnam‟s government has acted swiftly to change its macroeconomic policy to meet the new needs of the economy and achieved some progress in restraining high inflation, stabilizing macro-economy and keeping sustainable growth. Vietnam is believed to have very bright growth prospects in the future. 14 2.3. Responses of ROK and Vietnam to Regional Governance Change 2.3.1. Rising China and Regional Governance Change Positively responding to the changing global order, China declared the reform and open door policy in 1978. Since then, it has developed remarkably in all fields. The rise of a wealthy and powerful China is now changing the world dynamics. China is upgrading its strong position as an economic, diplomatic and military power, and has become the second largest economy in the world. With “the rise of China,” the existing East Asian order is also compelled to reshape. Some authorities foresee a region in which Chinese power supersedes that of the United States, resulting in hegemonic transition – and possibly a conflict. At present, the United States administration is rebalancing toward Asia in order to contain Chinese influence there. Today, Asia-Pacific is a region where a bewildering array of regional agreements are in place, with more anticipated over the next few years. In this context, there is a need to fully grasp the current trends in the rapidly developing relations and anticipate the direction which the region should take in the years ahead. 2.3.2. Responses of ROK and Vietnam to Regional Governance Change The most notable achievement in ROK‟s regional diplomacy was the “Sunshine Policy” which prioritized engagement over confrontation and containment in inter-Korean relations at the end of the 1990s. A more recent initiative from the ROK has come in the form of its “new Asian diplomacy” announced by the government in March 2009, representing an ambitious bid to compete with China and Japan for regional influence. ROK has often changed the emphasis of its foreign policy and positively responded to the changing regional governance environment to advance its national interests, which contributed considerably to the improvement of its national status. Vietnam has also been an active country in response to the regional governance change since the end of Cold War. In 1989, Vietnam played a critical role in the evolution of regional governance through its military 15 withdrawal from Cambodia. Vietnam built a new framework for regional cooperation through ASEAN accession in 1995 and boosted multilateral diplomacy based on its APEC accession in 1998. Recently, Vietnam is actively engaging in international economic integration. Also, through its participation in TPP negotiations in 2011 and promoting the signing of FTAs with ROK, EU and Russia, Vietnam is actively responding to the changing regionalism. CHAPTER 3 ROK-VIETNAM BILATERAL RELATIONS: WAYS FORWARD IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNANCE CHANGE 3.1. Overview of ROK-Vietnam Bilateral Relations 3.1.1. ROK-Vietnam Bilateral Relations Before 1992 The roots of Korea-Vietnam relations date back some 800 years. ROK and Vietnam were not able to create a cooperative relationship during the Cold War era due to membership of their different ideological camps. Relations between ROK and Vietnam began, unofficially and indirectly, in the second half of the 1980s, but they remained limited to trade. ROKVietnam diplomatic ties were established in 1992, which opened up a new chapter in the history of relations between the two countries. They could now look forward to the future and join hands to build good friendship and sincere cooperation for mutual benefit and shared prosperity in the 21st century. 3.1.2. Development of ROK-Vietnam Relations since 1992 Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, ties between the two countries have become increasingly constructive and forward-looking, based on mutual trust. In 2009, the two countries upgraded to a “Strategic Cooperative Partnership” from the 2001 “Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership”. There has been a remarkable increase in bilateral trade and investment in the last two decades. ROK has also been the second largest 16 Official Development Assistance (ODA) provider to Vietnam. Vietnam is a major source for foreign labour for ROK. The recent ROK and Vietnam relations are said to be “brotherhood” and even “in-law relationship”. 3.1.2.1. Politics and Foreign Affairs In the political field, less than 20 years after the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries upgraded the bilateral relations first to a “Comprehensive Partnership in the 21st century” in August 2001 and then to a “Strategic Cooperative Partnership” in October 2009. The frequent exchange of visits and contact between the two countries‟ leaders has become an established tradition. Both sides have established and maintained many effective mechanisms of strategic political dialogue and consultation to enhance mutual understanding and mutual trust. Nowadays, the two countries have linked with each other at bilateral and multilateral levels and in a diverse and vibrant manner. Both share strategic interests in the peace, stability and prosperity of the region. 3.1.2.2. Economic Cooperation Relations between ROK and Vietnam have continuously strengthened with expanded trade and people-to-people exchange. During the last twenty years, Vietnam has emerged as a strategic partner for ROK firms as well as a major destination for ROK investment. In addition, there are complementary relations between FDI and trade. The recent large inflow of FDI from ROK into Vietnam can be regarded as a main source of the trade expansion between the two countries. In short, FDI, trade, and ODA, which are three key pillars to facilitate the present astonishing economic development between the two countries ROK is now Vietnam‟s second largest export market and Vietnam ranks second among all labor exporters to ROK. Korean employers prefer Vietnamese laborers due to their honesty, hard work and quick adaptability to technology and Korean culture. However, illegal labor problems have also reduced chances for many Vietnamese people to work in ROK. Both 17 governments of the two countries should actively work on policies to address these issues. 3.1.2.3. Development Cooperation (ODA) Nowadays, ROK has successfully moved from being an aid recipient to becoming an aid donor. Vietnam is one of the strategic partners for ROK‟s grants and mid-term concessional loans, and is also the biggest recipient of ROK‟s ODA. Since the start of ODA funding for Vietnam in 1993 with US$100 thousand, the ROK has so far provided over US$1.5 billion of ODA to the country. ROK also designated Vietnam as a "core" Knowledge Sharing Programme (KSP) beneficiary 4 years ago. Under this programme, ROK agrees not only to transfer its high technology and its accumulated development knowledge to Vietnam but also to assist Vietnam design the most effective development strategy to build prosperous nation in the future. 3.1.2.4. Cultural Cooperation ROK and Vietnam share a common experience of having overcome every national crisis, at home and abroad, throughout thousands of years of history, while proudly preserving their traditions and culture. The relationship between Vietnam and ROK in culture, sports and tourism has been remarkably developed over the past 20 years, especially in the past 10 years, with depth, substance and in a sound direction. The cooperation in three areas of culture, tourism and sports is relatively equal, diverse, and increasing in intensity, scale and depth. Travel between the two nations has also grown as impressively as economic exchange. Apart from friendship activities, great importance has also been placed on calling for assistance from Korean non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Currently, international marriages between Koreans and Vietnamese are increasing. However, problems in multicultural families arise from the differences in language, culinary culture and women‟s awareness of their social status. With a view towards developing into a progressive and globalized country in the 21st century, Korean people need to be aware that ROK has to change into a multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual 18
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