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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: 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: Takenori Horimoto
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: A power transformation appears to be taking place in Asia, brought about by the rapid emergence of China and the relative decline of US influence. India has sought a way to cope with this new situation. India itself has been rising to prominence since the 1990s, particularly its nuclear weapon tests in 1998 onward. Since the start of the twenty-first century, India has been perceived as the next country to follow China in seeking a major power status. Although India has previously tended to conceal its power aspirations, in 2015 it declared its intention to be a leading power. This article elucidates this transformation through India's policy orientation on a local, regional, and global level and its key partnerships with Russia and Japan. India’s metamorphosis holds great implications for the transformation of power in Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, India, 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: Kan Kimura, Koji Kagotani, Jeffrey R. Weber
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Since its democratization, South Korea's foreign relations with Japan have become increasingly volatile. We investigate the diversionary incentives behind these fluctuations in South Korean foreign policy during 1988–2011. We show evidence that, similar to mature democracies, economic turmoil is driving Korean leaders to divert the public attention toward low-intensity disputes against Japan. However, unlike mature democracies, our results reveal that public approval ratings and national elections do not encourage leaders to engage in the diversionary behavior due to South Korean domestic political institutional settings and party system. These findings highlight challenges to foreign policy making in a new democracy, an issue that has not been considered in detail in the literature. We conclude that although historical antagonism and US commitment to East Asia may affect the Japan–South Korea relationship, economic diversionary incentives significantly determine the fluctuations in Japan–South Korea disputes
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea
  • 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: Robert Kelly
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In 2009, Korea and the European Union (EU) signed a free trade agreement. Using a traditional list of state goals in foreign policy–national security, economic growth, prestige-seeking, and values-promotion–I examine the prospects for cooperation and integration in the future. I find that deeper engagement is unlikely. Most importantly, neither side is relevant to the basic security issues of the other. Specifically, the EU cannot assist Korea in its acute security dilemma, and 'sovereigntist' Korea does not share EU preferences for soft power, regionalization, and multilateral collective security. However, Korea is likely to pursue the relationship for cost-free prestige-taking. And the EU will under-stand this 'Asian bridge'as a success for the promotion of liberal-democratic values in a non-European context. Pro-regionalist elites, most notably the 'eureaucracy', may pursue 'inter-regional'ties for internal institutional reasons, but deep Korean attachment to the Westphalian state model will likely stymie such efforts.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Korea
  • Author: Takafumi Suzuki
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This study introduces new quantitative text analysis methods into foreign policy analysis. Quantitative text analysis in the social sciences is currently aimed in two directions, namely (a) more systematic analysis using larger amounts of data sets and (b) more detailed analysis using linguistic knowledge. Our methods, by using recent techniques in natural language processing, integrate these two different trends, and achieve more systematic but detailed analysis. We apply our methods to 147 Diet speeches of Japanese prime ministers, and shed new light on the character of Japanese foreign policy. This study makes a methodological contribution to foreign policy analysis and a substantial contribution to the study of Japanese foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan