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  • Author: Kai He, Huiyun Feng
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: China's assertive diplomacy in recent years has ignited intense debates among International Relations (IR) scholars. Some argue that China's assertive behavior is rooted in its perception of increasing power and capabilities. Others suggest that it is U.S. policies that triggered China's assertive reactions. Relying on an original survey of China's IR scholars conducted in Beijing in 2013 and using structural equation modeling (SEM), we empirically examine Chinese IR scholars' attitude towards Chinese power versus the United States, their perceptions of U.S. policy in Asia, and their preference for an assertive Chinese foreign policy. We find that both the power perception and policy reaction arguments make sense in accounting for Chinese IR scholars' attitude regarding China's assertive diplomacy. However, our research suggests that a more pessimistic view on Chinese power is more likely to be associated with a preference for an assertive foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Aileen S. P. Baviera
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper sets out to explore the role of domestic politics in the shaping and implementing of Philippine foreign policy and its relations with China. It examines how domestic politics have driven Philippine foreign policy behaviour towards China; whether the Philippine Government has successfully managed the domestic drivers in promoting the state's interests in its relations with China, and whether there are major constraints that have prevented the attainment of more desirable outcomes in the bilateral ties. It looks at three cases: the Philippines-China joint marine seismic undertaking in the South China Sea; China's participation in the national broadband network project and a railway project; and Philippine reactions to China's execution of three Filipino drug mules.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Philippines
  • Author: Christopher Freise
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Much attention has been devoted to the Obama Administration's “Pacific Pivot” and the vocal reassertion of an upgraded security, economic, and diplomatic presence in East Asia by the United States. Commentators have ascribed various rationales to these efforts, including speculation that this is part of a “containment” strategy towards China, a reaction to the US presidential election cycle, or, more benignly, an effort to forestall concerns of American withdrawal from the region. These explanations have some elements of truth, but also fall short of fully describing or understanding the strategic rationale behind these moves.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Evelyn Goh
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on China's relations with its relatively weak neighbours in Southeast Asia where we ought to find evidence of China getting other states to do what they otherwise would not have done, this paper asks how and how effectively China has converted its growing resources into influence over other states, their strategic choices and the outcomes of events. First, it adopts the framework of structural and relational power, further disaggregating the latter into persuasion, inducement and coercion as modes of exercising power. Second, it accounts for the reception to power by offering an analytical framework based on variations in the alignment of the extant preferences of the subjects and wielders of power, which determine the degree to which alterations are necessary as part of an exercise of power. The analysis identifies key cases particularly demonstrating three categories of Chinese power: its power as 'multiplier' when extent preferences are aligned; its power to persuade when pre-existing preferences are debated; and its power to prevail in instances of conflicting preferences. It finds that the first two categories of power have been most prevalent, while there have been very few instances where Southeast Asian states have done what they would otherwise not have done as a result of Chinese behaviour. These findings suggest that even though China's power resources have increased significantly, the way in which it has managed to convert these resources into control over outcomes is uneven.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Southeast Asia
  • Author: You Ji
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Pyongyang's adventurism during 2010 such as the Yeonyeong shelling has further complicated the already strained Sino-DPRK relations, despite closer interaction between the two countries. The biggest challenge to Beijing was to shake the foundation of China's DPRK policy, defined as maintaining the status quo by crisis aversion, with the emphasis on ad hoc guidance for immediate crisis management. Chinese analysts criticised Beijing's lack of an effective overarching strategy toward Pyongyang. Clearly its current approach of accommodation vis-à-vis Kim Jong-Il may not be sustainable. This principle not only symbolises Beijing's buffer zone mentality concerning the North's regime survival but also its difficulty in finding any feasible substitute. Beijing does see the high cost of continued support for an unpredictable neighbour.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, North Korea