Ties that bind? Assessing the impact of economic interdependence on East Asian alliances

Dong Sun Lee, Sung Eun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigates how commercial ties affect the cohesiveness of USalliances with East Asian nations. While the conventional wisdom views their effects as positive, we argue that economic interdependence does not markedly reinforce East Asian alliances because the alliances have an asymmetrical structure. To evaluate these competing arguments, we examine the impact of bilateral trade on the USalliances with Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and South Korea, over the past quarter-century. Our empirical analysis provides little evidence for the conventional view, while supporting our argument. Based on this finding, the article offers some practical implications for the free trade agreement and the security alliance between South Korea and the USA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-235
Number of pages30
JournalPacific Focus
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Alliance
  • East Asia
  • Economic interdependence
  • Power asymmetry
  • Trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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