A Janus–Faced Security Landscape: An Analysis of the East Asian Security Environment (2022.06)


초록: East Asia has become more salient on the international stage, economically and strategically. Considering its significance, many scholars have paid attention to the regional security environment. They consider East Asia a peaceful region because there has been no inter–state war, and attempt to explore factors preventing wars in East Asia. We believe that the focus on the absence of war would not only fail to provide a whole picture of the current East Asian security condition but also give a false impression that this region is stable and secure. Accordingly, we attempt to provide a detailed descriptive look at the current security environment of East Asia by focusing on various aspects of the security environment. We show that East Asia suffers from intense tensions, while it has avoided serious interstate conflict. By drawing on various perspectives, we attempt to explain the seemingly contradictory phenomenon in this region, a co-existence of intense hostility and negative peace. The U.S.–China competition, territorial disputes, and the ineffectiveness of regional institutions have intensified intra–regional tension, undermining potentials for developing security cooperation. Nevertheless, the security role of the United States and a high level of intra–regional economic integration have prevented the occurrence of serious militarized conflict.