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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: Pasha L. Hsieh
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article examines the evolution of Taiwan’s relationship with Singapore since the 1960s as a unique case study in the Asia-Pacific. The theoretical concept of recognition in international relations (IR) and its nexus with international law are used to analyze the conclusion of the bilateral military and trade agreements absent diplomatic relations. The article argues that beyond security dimensions, the two states’ struggles for recognition exhibit the formation of national identities, which invigorate the claims for sovereign state status in global politics. First, this article explores the emerging notion of recognition in IR and sheds light on the significance of Taiwan’s presidential visit to Singapore under its one-China policy. Second, it explains Singapore’s pursuit of external sovereignty that led to substantive defense cooperation with Taiwan, as well as the role of Lee Kuan Yew in facilitating Beijing–Taipei negotiations. Finally, it assesses contemporary developments such as the inking of the Taiwan–Singapore free trade agreement and the first-ever summit between the presidents of China and Taiwan in Singapore. Hence, the political and legal analysis of Singapore–Taiwan relations enriches the study of IR and contributes to the understanding of the foreign policy of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Military Affairs, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia, Singapore
  • 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: Chengxin Pan
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The theoretical challenges for international relations (IR) posed by China’s rise cannot be adequately addressed at a mere theoretical level. Predicated on a Cartesian/Newtonian ontology that assumes a mechanistic world made up of discrete, self-contained parts (e.g., sovereign nation-states), mainstream IR theories offer limited understanding of China’s rise. In this article, I propose an alternative, holographic relational ontology. Drawing upon recent IR scholarship on relational ontology and holographic ideas in quantum physics as well as traditional Asian thoughts, this ‘new’ ontology posits that the world exists fundamentally as holographic relations, in which a part is a microcosmic reflection of its larger whole(s). As a part of various wholes in global politics, ‘China’ is thus never an entity in and of itself, but holographic reflections of them. Its rise is best understood as a phenomenon of holographic transition, in which characteristics of those larger wholes are being enfolded into what is known as ‘China’. Thus, both the ‘China’ challenges and ‘China’ opportunities, rather than some inherently ‘Chinese’ properties, are products of China’s holographic relations. This ontology has broader conceptual and methodological as well as policy implications for IR in East Asia and beyond.
  • Topic: International Relations Theory, Holographic Transition, Ontology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Harumi Goto-Shibata
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article examines the technical cooperation between the League of Nations and China from its origin in 1928 to 1934. By consulting Japanese documents, it analyses why even Japanese diplomats who were usually regarded as internationalists came to be strongly opposed to this. The founding fathers of the League did not envisage cooperation between the League and China, so there were no well-considered rules nor structures for such works. Technical cooperation developed through personal initiatives; moreover, Dr Ludwik Rajchman on the League side did not limit his activities to his expertise and came to be involved in power politics. On the other hand, East Asia was the region where the old imperial order firmly remained and Japan wanted to maintain it. Britain, the mainstay of the League of Nations, was also an empire that still had large interests in the region, so that it clearly understood the causes of Japan’s reaction.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, History, Empire, League of Nations
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Thomas J. Scotto, Jason Reifler
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: A large body of research suggests mass publics are capable of thinking coherently about international relations. We extend this body of research to show that domain relevant postures – in our case, more abstract beliefs about foreign policy – are related to how tough of a line representative samples of US and UK respondents want their governments to take toward China. More specifically, we utilize a unique comparative survey of American and British foreign policy attitudes to show broad support for toughness toward China. Beliefs about the use of the military and attitudes regarding globalization help explain preferences for tough economic and military policies toward China. In the two countries, the relationship between general foreign policy outlooks and the positions citizens take is robust to the addition of a general mediator that controls for the general affect those surveyed have toward China. Finally, the strength of the relationship between these abstract postures and specific preferences for a China policy are different across the countries.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Affairs, Political Science, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: China, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • 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
  • Author: Alexander C. Tan, Michael I. Magcamit
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to explore and explain the process through which Taiwan utilizes free trade – both at multilateral and bilateral levels – in enhancing its shrinking de facto sovereignty against the backdrop of ubiquitous 'China factor' in the twenty-first century. It argues that China's sinicization project creates a scenario wherein increasing cross-strait stability ironically leads to decreasing de facto sovereignty for Taiwan. Due to this existing cross-strait security dilemma, Taiwanese leaders are being forced to preserve the island's quasi-independent statehood due to fears of losing its remaining de facto autonomy over domestic and foreign affairs. In essence, Taiwan chooses to be de facto free by remaining de jure unfree. Taiwan's sovereign space, therefore, becomes a pivotal referent object of its national security policy and strategy. Balancing between the two paradoxical interests of enhancing sovereignty while maintaining the Chinese-dominated cross-strait status-quo underlines the relentless games, changes, and fears that Taiwan confronts today.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Marc Lanteigne, Aglaya Snetkov
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The global issue of humanitarian intervention has become more pronounced and complicated in recent years due to increasingly diverging views on addressing security crises between the West on one side and Russia and China on the other. Despite their support for the principles of 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P), both Russia and China are wary of Western intervention in internal conflicts after the Cold War and have become increasingly critical of Western-led armed intervention in humanitarian conflicts. Unease in Beijing and Moscow over the multilateral intervention in the 2011 Libyan conflict and their ongoing opposition to Western policies in the Syrian Civil War since 2011 would seem to point to ever more coincidence in their negative views of American and Western intervention policies. A conventional wisdom has thus emerged that there is something akin to a Sino–Russian 'bloc', with near-identical policies of discouraging armed intervention within state borders under the aegis of humanitarian intervention or the R2P doctrine, signed in 2005 (2005 World Summit). However, closer examination of Russian and Chinese positions on the Libyan and Syrian conflicts, drawing on normative and identity perspectives, reveals significant differences in how both states address intervention in civil conflicts involving human rights emergencies. Indeed, the Libyan and Syrian cases suggest that the distance between the two states on 'acceptable' policies toward international intervention in civil conflicts may actually be increasing. While Russia has assumed the role of the 'loud dissenter' in global dialogs on humanitarian intervention, China has opted for the position of a 'cautious partner'.
  • Topic: Cold War, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Syria
  • Author: Kan Kimura
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In recent years, East Asian countries have faced serious challenges with regard to regional security. The bilateral relationships between China and Japan, and Japan and South Korea, have become increasingly strained due to a variety of disagreements over key political issues, such as territorial claims. Some observers argue that China and Japan may become involved in a direct military confrontation in the near future over the Senkaku/ Diaoyu Islands. The increasing levels of naval and aerial engagements between the two countries demonstrate that such arguments can no longer be seen as 'out of the question'. While two democracies in the region, Japan and South Korea, are both major alliance partners with the United States and share the key security concern of countering North Korea's nuclear and conventional provocations, the two have suffered deteriorating relations since 2012. For instance, the General Security of Military Information Agreement, which provided a mechanism through which Japan and South Korea could share military technology, was canceled in July 2012. Furthermore, the two states have been embroiled in an increasingly antagonistic territorial dispute over Takeshima/Dokdo Islands since President Lee Myung-bak's visit to the islands in August 2012.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Hiroki Takeuchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China and Japan have been deepening economic interdependence over the last two decades, while China has recently shown territorial ambitions and initiated disputes with Japan. This runs contrary to the commercial liberal literature that argues that trade promotes peace. On the other hand, the realist theory also does not fully explain Sino-Japanese relations because Sino-Japanese relations are not always in conflict. The rise of China and the relative decline of Japan might explain increasing tensions in the rivalry relationship, but what drives Chinese leaders to initiate disputes? I address the importance of domestic politics to examine Sino-Japanese disputes. I argue that the recent deterioration of the bilateral relationship could be explained by the power struggle in the Chinese leadership. To support the logic of this argument, I use a game-theoretic model, which accounts for how the type of Chinese leadership influences foreign policy outcomes in Sino-Japanese relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China
  • Author: Ian Tsung-yen Chen
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Global economic imbalance leads to change in the global distribution of economic resources. While some foresee the inevitable decline of US power, others consider China's forthcoming global primacy to be an exaggeration. This paper seeks to contribute to the debate by linking balance of payments (BOP) to power analysis. Dimensions of BOP are connected to Keohane and Nye's two ideal-types of interdependence relationship: realist and complex interdependence. The former relates to the global distribution of aggregate economic resources; the latter emphasizes a detailed investigation of distinct interdependence situations between countries. China's BOP from 1997 to 2012 is assessed through the lens of both ideal-type scenarios. The findings show that China's growing power manifests principally in its rising status as a major global buyer in primary goods and its growing military strength in the region. However, China is confronted with possible slowdown in wealth accumulation and its lagging technological development. At present, the speculation of China's upcoming global primacy may be exaggerated, but its dominant position in the region is indeed on the rise.
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Ming Wan
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China has gone global, but most China experts in the American academic community have gone local, moving in the opposite direction. As Shambaugh has observed rightly, 'big picture' books on China in the United States have been written by virtually anyone but China scholars. A crucial reason for this academic trend is the current obsession with theories and methods in the social sciences departments, which has changed the incentive structure for scholars who compete for employment, promotion, recognition, and funding. Moreover, given the increasingly complex nature of China's greater presence in the world on so many dimensions, it is also the case that a new generation of scholars trained to be specialized in narrow research topics would arguably find it difficult to write a big book even if they want to. As guilty as many others, this reviewer also encourages his own students to follow a narrow path out of fear that they would otherwise be placed at a competitive disadvantage even though he shares the same concern with Shambaugh.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America
  • Author: Van Jackson
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Why do hedging strategies appear so pervasive in Asia? This article argues that hedging – not balancing or bandwagoning – is the central tendency in Asian international relations, offering three different lenses for making sense of this phenomenon, focusing in particular on the third: power transition theory, mistrust under multipolarity, and complex networks. Each perspective highlights different factors that explain the incentives for Asian states to hedge, what hedging looks like, and how long hedging is likely to endure. Power transition theory tells us that hedging is the result of uncertainty about a possible power transition between the United States and China. Multipolarity points us to uncertainty about the intentions of a growing number of states. And the logic of complex networks explains hedging as a response to the topology of Asia's complex network structure - consisting of sensitivity, fluidity, and heterarchy – which makes it difficult for Asian-foreign policy elites to assess the future consequences of present day commitments.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Takamichi Mito
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This book by Kent Calder successfully demonstrates the growing geopolitical ties between oil and gas producers and consumers around the central Eurasian continent, which spreads from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and the former Soviet Union to India, China, South Korea and Japan; this vast area he terms the New Silk Road. According to Calder, these ties are being institutionalized, a development he terms the 'new continentalism'. This is brought by a series of critical junctures in geopolitics and the growing economic needs of oil and gas producers and consumers in the region. These junctures signify major policy changes caused by international or domestic factors, such as, the oil crises of the 1970s; Deng Xiaoping's Four Modernizations in China, which started in 1978; India's financial crisis, which led to economic reforms from 1991; the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; and the rise of Vladimir Putin in 1999. These subsequently brought about a series of politico-economic realignments; nationally, regionally, and internationally, a pre-requisite to the rise of the new continentalism.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, South Korea
  • Author: Unryu Suganuma
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Japan's nationalization of the Diaoyu Islands in 2012 reignited the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute that had been relatively quiet since the 1970s,making news headlines yet again. Renewed attention to the dispute prompted the publication of a number of books in Japan and China, including this book, claiming to be 'the first academic book in more than a decade focusing exclusively on the Senkaku issue....'While Eldridge's book has some positive points, such as addressing declassified information relating to the Diaoyu Islands in the period between the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) in 1951 and the Reversion Treaty in1971, the book has some critical shortcomings.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China
  • Author: David Scott
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article argues that the 'Indo-Pacific' has become an increasingly influential term during the last few years within Australian strategic debate. Consequently, the article looks at how the concept of the 'Indo- Pacific' as a region is impacting on Australia's strategic discussions about regional identity, regional role, and foreign policy practices. The term has a strategic logic for Australia in shaping its military strategy and strategic partnerships. Here, the article finds that Australian usage of the term operates as an accurate description of an evolving 'region' to conduct strategy within, but also operates quite frequently (though not inevitably or inherently) as a more contested basis for China-balancing. The article looks closely at four themes: the Indo-Pacific as a term, the rhetoric (strategic debate) in Australia surrounding the Indo-Pacific term, the Indo-Pacific policy formulations by Australia, and the developing Indo-Pacific nature of bilateral and trilateral linkages between Australia, India, and the United States.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India, Australia
  • Author: Jeffrey Reeves, Ramon Pacheco Pardo
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article draws on Michael Barnett and Raymond Duvall's power typology to examine Chinese power in Sino-Mongolia and Sino-North Korean relations. Using compulsory, institutional, productive, and structural power to frame these bilateral relations, this article looks at the means by which China obtains power and how it utilizes power in relation to Mongolia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. This article also examines Mongolian and North Korean perceptions and responses to Chinese power. Concurrently, the article considers the Barnett/Duvall model's applicability to China's relations with other periphery developing states.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Mongolia, Korea