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China’s Posture for Protracted Struggle against the U.S. Viewed through the Lens of 2021 Two Sessions (兩會) and Its Implications

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Author Shin, Jong-Ho
Publish Date / Page 2021-03-26 / 8 p.
Series No. CO 21-10(E)
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2021 Two Sessions (兩會) reflected China’s posture for a protracted struggle against the U.S. in preparation for the post-COVID-19 era and the trends of prolonged U.S.-China strategic competition. China set this year’s economic growth target at ‘over 6%’ demonstrating its will for stable ‘mid-speed growth,’ and prepared itself for the U.S.-China competition over technological hegemony by emphasizing science and technological innovation for ‘self-reliance and self-improvement.’ It also appeared to brace for the possibility of the possible U.S.-China decoupling by setting a ‘dual circulation strategy’ as the new economic policy direction. Also, it sought to cut off the possibility of intervention of outside forces, including the U.S. by revising Hong Kong’s election system and solidify Xi Jinping’s leadership. China is bracing for U.S. multilateralism and the strengthening of the alliance by stressing the reinforced regional economic cooperation and the maintenance of the multilateral trade system. South Korea needs to enhance its strategic autonomy in preparation for the trends of protracted U.S.-China strategic competition. Moreover, the ROK needs to expand the horizon of its diplomacy to the EU and ASEAN countries via a ‘middle-power diplomacy.’ Furthermore, it is necessary to view the U.S.-China strategic competition separately from the Korean Peninsula so as not to make the Korean Peninsula become an area for a proxy war of the U.S.-China competition. It should prepare itself for the U.S.-China competition over technological hegemony by making efforts to develop independent state-of-the-art technology. In particular, the effects of the U.S.-China conflicts on the Korean Peninsula should be minimized via the progress in inter-Korean relations and the re-initiation of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.