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Leadership Changes and South Korea’s China Policy
Author: Chung Jae Ho
Region: Asia
Location: Korea, South, China
Published June 9, 2012
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Changes in political leadership are often associated with readjustments or reversals of policy, the impact of which can be both wide-ranging in scope and long-lasting in duration. Foreign policy, which had long belonged to the realm of sovereign decisions by the kings and their trusted servants in traditional times, has of late fallen into the domain of intense bargaining and compromises between the state and the society in the era of informatized popular democracy.1 Political leaders are, of course, still empowered to make authoritative decisions but their boundary of discretion is now significantly constrained by the obligations to reflect and accommodate the interests and, increasingly, sentiments of the people who vote for them.

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