China and Its Neighbors, Part 4: South Korea

In Seoul, Some Are Calling China the New America

Hyundai automobiles ready for export at Hyundai Motors in Ulsan, South Korea.

Hyundai automobiles ready for export at Hyundai Motors in Ulsan, South Korea. Hyundai, like many companies, is eager to take advantage of China's rapidly growing marketplace. John Van Hasselt/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption John Van Hasselt/Corbis

For decades, the United States and Japan have been the main economic force in Asia. Many say China will soon take over that role. NPR News/CIA hide caption

Map of China and Its Neighbors
itoggle caption NPR News/CIA

South Korea's links with China go back centuries, but in the 1950s the two were on opposite sides in the Korean War. Today, China is starting to have increasingly more in common with South Korea than its communist neighbor in the North. In the fourth part of a series examining China's relationship with its neighbors, NPR's Rob Gifford reports on a China craze that's going on in Seoul. China's economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. And with that prosperity comes power. Some in Asia are calling China the new America. But others worry that South Korea's economic infatuation with China has blinded Koreans to Beijing's longterm strategic aims.

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