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End of global superpowers? Can middle powers: can South Korea, Australia lead world out of crisis amid global leadership vacuum? Updated: 2020-08-10 05:58:52 KST

As tension between the United States and China continues to spiral in tit-for-tat moves in trade, IT and diplomacy, the world is on edge as every country is inextricably tied both economically and politically to the G2 countries.
Washington and Beijing are pressuring their allies and trade partners to stand with them, but many have criticized the two superpowers for hindering global cooperation on beating the coronavirus pandemic and fostering an economic recovery.
With the world lacking leadership and unity at such a critical time, could this see so-called middle power countries filling the vacuum?
To discuss this we have joining us today Dr. Kim Byoung-joo, Professor at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
We also have Dr. Andrew O'Neil, Dean and Professor of Political Science joining us from Queensland, Australia.

1.
Dr. Kim: With U.S.-China ties appearing to be at their lowest point in history of their relations, how is South Korea being affected and can it resist becoming a pawn in the game?

Dr. O'Neil: Australia is also in a sticky situation. How has the country been affected by the U.S.-China conflict?
- Also, how can countries like South Korea and Australia prevent themselves being played by both sides?

2.
The G2 conflict has largely dented hopes for global cooperation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. EU countries have also been struggling to handle the virus, trying to keep their economies from crumbling and most critically, failing to show regional unity all of which is weaking their political clout.
Germany has opposed President Trump's proposal of having countries that have fared better amid the pandemic like South Korea and Australia join the upcoming G7 meeting.
Dr. Kim: Why do you think this is? Why not just reject Russia?
Dr. O'Neil: What are your thoughts?

3.
Dr. O'Neil: Countries like South Korea and Australia have been dubbed middle powers. Do you think it's time that they expand their roles and begin to try and take a bigger role?

4.
Dr. Kim: Can middle powers fill this leadership vacuum? Especially with South Korea having received global praise for its handling of COVID-19. Could it be a good time for the country to show leadership and advance its own interests internationally?

5.
Do you think U.S. China relations will improve anytime soon or will we continue to see geopolitical drama until the U.S. Presidential Election?
How dangerous is it to use foreign relations to advance personal, political interests?

This is where we wrap up the discussion today. Dr. Kim Byoung-joo, Professor at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
and Dr. Andrew O'Neil, Dean and Professor of Political Science joining us from Queensland, Australia.Thank you for your insights.



Reporter : osy@arirang.com
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