The traditional paradigms proposed by American or Chinese IR scholars cannot explain the true interactions between Imperial China and its neighboring countries, in particular Korea and Japan. Both Western-centrism and Sinocentrism should be abandoned when analyzing ancient China s foreign relations if we want to establish implications for understanding contemporary Sino-Korea relations. The Long Peace indeed existed in early modern East Asia for nearly 500 years, but we cannot find any causal mechanism verifying that it was based on Confucian culture. The theory of realism can be supported by process-tracing the history based on Chinese-language literature. Confucian culture was simply an effective instrument of Imperial China s foreign relations which could institutionalize the hierarchical system already established by Chinese power. However, it did not always effectively reduce or avoid war and could hardly be internalized into the Sinic state s recognition of China-centrism but rather weakened the China-centered hierarchical system.
Ⅱ. Review of the Existing Literature
Ⅲ. Hypothesis and Framework
Ⅳ. Empirical Research