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  • Author: Jeffrey D. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a controversial addition to both the global and Asian economic architectures. Western critics have alleged it is a vehicle designed to achieve China’s geostrategic goals, while scholars have argued it marks China’s adoption of a ‘revisionist’ foreign policy strategy. This article argues that such interpretations are incorrect, as they fail to account for the evolution of China’s AIIB agenda. To secure a broad membership and international legitimacy for the AIIB, China compromised with partners during governance negotiations in 2015. Western country demands saw several controversial initial proposals dropped, the governance practices of existing multilateral development banks were adopted, and cooperative partnerships were developed with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. This transition from a revisionist to status-seeking AIIB agenda reveals the flexibility of Chinese economic statecraft, and its willingness to compromise strategic goals to boost the legitimacy of its international leadership claims.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Banks
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jürgen Haacke
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In the context of the complex unipolar post-Cold War period that has witnessed China’s reemergence as an economic and military power, small and middle powers are increasingly considered to be hedging. This analysis is especially prevalent in relation to Southeast Asian countries, many of which face security challenges posed by China. However, as the literature on hedging has expanded, the concept’s analytical value is no longer obvious. Different understandings of hedging compete within the literature, and there are many criteria by which hedging is empirically ascertained, leading to confusion even over the basic question of which countries are hedging. In response, this article presents a modified conceptual and methodological framework that clearly delineates hedging from other security strategies and identifies key criteria to evaluate whether smaller powers are hedging when confronting a serious security challenge by one of the major powers. This framework is then applied to Malaysia and Singapore.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Post Cold War
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Asia, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Kai Schulze
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In recent years, Japan's foreign policy elite has started to increasingly securitize China in their security discourse. The harsher tone from Tokyo is widely evaluated as a direct reaction to China’s own assertive behavior since 2009/2010. Yet, the change in the Japanese government’s rhetoric had started changing before 2010. In order to close this gap, the present article sheds light on an alternative causal variable that has been overlooked in the literature: a change in Japan’s security institutions, more specifically, the upgrade of the Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense, in 2007. While utilizing discursive institutionalism and securitization-approaches, the present article demonstrates that a strong correlation indeed exists between the institutional shift and the change in Japan’s defense whitepapers in the 2007–10 period. It thus opens up a research avenue for the further scrutiny of the hitherto understudied but significant causal linkage in the study of contemporary Japanese security policy toward China
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Barry Buzan
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This chapter looks at English School (ES) theory as a way of understanding China and its rise. It focuses both on where ES theory fits well enough with China to provide an interesting perspective, and on where ‘Chinese characteristics’ put China outside the standard ES framing and raise theoretical challenges to it. The first section briefly reviews the ES literature on China. The second section places China within the normative structure of contemporary global international society by looking at how China relates to the primary institutions that define that society. The third section explores two challenges that ‘Chinese characteristics’ pose for how the ES thinks about international society: hierarchy and ‘face’. The Conclusions assess the strengths and weaknesses of ES theory in relation to understanding the rise of China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Education, International Security
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Astrid H. M. Nordin, Graham M. Smith
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Chinese government representatives and scholars have attempted to ameliorate fears about China’s rise by portraying China as a new and friendlier kind of great power. It is claimed that this represents a new way of relating which transcends problematic Western understandings of Self–Other relations and their tendency to slip into domination and enmity. This article takes such claims as a point of departure, and analyses them with focus on the explicit discussions of friendship in international relations theory. Paying attention to current Chinese thinking which emphasizes guanxi relationships, friendship can contribute to the development of genuinely relational international relations thinking and move beyond a focus on ossified forms of friendship and enmity centred on the anxious self. The vantage point of friendship suggests a way out of the dangers of theorizing Self in contrast to Other, and reopens the possibility to conceptualize Self with Other.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Power Politics, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Joseph MacKay
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: International relations scholars have recently taken increased interest in empire. However, research has often focused on European colonial empires. This article aims to evaluate imperialism in a non-Western historical setting: Late Imperial China. The article first compares extant international relations (IR) accounts of empire (one broad and one narrow) to theories of the East Asian hierarchical international system. Second, to further specify analysis, I evaluate IR theories of empire against the historical record of the Ming and Qing dynasties, addressing Chinese relations with surrounding 'tributary' states, conquered imperial possessions, and other neighboring polities. I argue that while IR theories of empire capture much of the region's historical politics, they nonetheless underspecify it. Theories of East Asian hierarchy suggest additional mechanisms at work. The historical cases suggest extensive variation in how empires expand and consolidate. I conclude that there is room for further theory building about empire in IR and suggest possible areas of emphasis.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia