Past Event

'China’s Alliance Balancing Strategies And The Korean Peninsula' - Chengzhi Yin (Current CWP Fellow)

December 5, 2022
4:30 PM - 7:59 PM
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Weatherhead East Asian Institute (located at the School of International and Public Affairs) 420 West 118th Street Room 918 New York, NY 10027
  • To register to attend this event in-person, please register HERE. *CU ID holders only
  • To register to attend this event online, please register HERE.

Alliance balancing strategies—policies of a great power to divide hostile alliances and maintain its own alliances—are important tools to influence a target’s alignment and tip the balance of power. Among other great powers, China frequently uses alliance balancing strategies to maintain its sphere of influence. When choosing these strategies, China has three options: accommodation, coercion, and “wait and see.” How does China choose among these options? Using archives and government documents, this research shows that two factors—China’s leverage over the target state and its perceived threat from the target-adversary alignment—determine China’s choices. This research evaluates the theory by examining two cases in which China chose its alliance balancing strategies toward North Korea in the 1960s and toward South Korea in the 2010s. Findings of this research further our understanding of alliance dynamics and shed light on the logics of China’s behavior in great power competition

Co-sponsored by: the China and the World Program and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.


Chengzhi Yin is a current fellow in the Columbia-Harvard China and the World Program. He holds a PhD in political science from Boston College. His recent publications include “Logic of Choice: China’s Binding Strategies toward North Korea, 1965-1970,” Security Studies (2022), and “Chinese Military Assistance to North Vietnam Revisited,” Journal of American-East Asian Relations 26, no.3 (2019): 226-56.


Chengzhi Yin