China-Japan-Korea Standardization Cooperation



As the negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between China and Korea, and possibly one among China, Japan, and Korea (CJK) progress, a renewed attention is given to the three countries’ efforts to establish a Northeast Asian regional standards cooperation mechanism. In this paper, two ICT-oriented standards cooperative programs among the three countries, CJK-SITE and CJK-ITSM, are selected as a research setting and we examine them in the three-country context. The analysis indicates that the slow progress of CJK ICT standards cooperation can be explained by two perspectives: techno-regionalism and techno-nationalism. From the techno-regionalism perspective, standards cooperation will position CJK at a more strategic standing to effectively respond to the ever-intensifying global standards wars over the international ICT market. However, there exist significant gaps among the three countries as to why and how to purse the standards cooperation. We attribute the gaps to techno-nationalism which dominates the agenda of each country’s national standardization policy. Despite the apparent rationales for regional cooperation, it seems that the three countries go to ‘the same bed with different dreams’ as the Chinese proverb says.