China and Regional Security: How Should Neighbouring Powers Respond?

30 April 2013, 6:00 – 7:45pm

Commitee Room 14, The House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1 2TT

China’s continuing enhancement of its international presence is a result both of the country’s growing economic and military strength and its perception of a weakened US. This is in contrast to Deng’s policy of keeping a low profile, and appears at odds with ongoing talk of harmony and peaceful development. Since 2008, China has been increasingly assertive in its approach to territorial issues, not only with Japan, but also with other neighbouring countries. How are these nations to respond? Are there only two alternatives – counter-action or surrender? What about legal/ diplomatic options, including submitting the case to international arbitration? Can China and its neighbours still build stable and cooperative ‘win-win’ strategic relationships to deal with regional security issues such as North Korean nuclear aggression, boundary questions and navigation and resource rights? Or has the long-standing neglect of a historical problem combined with old disputes and new power configurations now set a course of conflict for the next generation? How do US interests play into these questions? Now that the political and economic focus seems to have shifted to the Asia-Pacific region, the attitudes of China and its neighbouring countries will have implications for Europe too. This seminar will examine these themes and consider them from a neutral British perspective, also addressing how the new leaders of China and Japan are dealing with the growing tensions in the region, and the negative attitudes towards each other fostered by the territorial disputes between them.

Professor Michael Clarke

Professor Michael Clarke is currently the Director General of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Until July 2007, he was Deputy Vice-Principal and Director of Research Development at King’s College London. He was the founding Director of the Centre for Defence Studies and of the International Policy Institute at King’s. He has taught international politics at the Universities of Aberystwyth, Manchester, Newcastle, and the Open University. He has been a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Defence Committee since 1997. In 2004, he was appointed the UK member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. In 2009, he was appointed to the Prime Minister’s National Security Forum and in 2010 to the Chief of Defence Staff’s new Strategic Advisory Group. His recent publications include: The Afghan Papers: Committing Britain to War in Helmand2005-06, London, RUSI/Routledge 2011; ‘Strategic Posture Review: United Kingdom’, World Politics Review, November 2011; ‘Does War Have a Future?’, in Lindley-French and Boyar (eds), The Oxford Handbook of War, Oxford, OUP, 2012.

Professor Barry Buzan

Professor Barry Buzan is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Honorary Professor at Copenhagen and Jilin Universities, and a Senior Fellow at LSE Ideas. During 1993 he was a visiting professor at the International University of Japan, and from 1997-98 he was Olof Palme Visiting Professor in Sweden. In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the British Academy. Among his books are:Security: A New Framework for Analysis (1998, with Ole Wæver and Jaap de Wilde); International Systems in World History: Remaking the Study of International Relations (2000, with Richard Little);Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security (2003, with Ole Wæver); The Evolution of International Security Studies (2009, with Lene Hansen); and Non-Western International Relations Theory (2010, co-edited with Amitav Acharya).

Sir David Warren

Sir David Warren was British Ambassador to Japan from 2008 to 2012. This followed a career in the Diplomatic Service that focused on East Asian affairs, in which he served three times in the British Embassy in Tokyo (1977-1981; 1993-1998; 2008-2012), and as head of the FCO’s China Hong Kong Department (1998-2000). He was also a member of the team that set up the Government’s business promotion agency, UK Trade and Investment, from 2000 to 2004, and Director of Human Resources for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (and a Board member) 2004-2007. He retired from the Diplomatic Service in January 2013, and has since become a Visiting Professor at Sheffield and De Montfort Universities, and is also Chairman of the Japan Society.

Rod Wye

Rod Wye is currently an Associate Fellow with the Asia Programme at Chatham House and a Senior Fellow in the China Policy Institute atNottingham. He was an analyst specialising in China and East Asia for over thirty years in the Research Analysts of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He also did two postings inChina as First Secretary in the British Embassy in Beijing in 1985-88 and again in 1995-99, and Deputy Head of the China Hong Kong Department in 1999-2002.

Dr Bobo Lo (Chair)

Dr Bobo Lo is an independent scholar and consultant. He was previously Director of the Russia and China Programmes at the Centre for European Reform; Head of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House. Dr Lo writes extensively on Russian and Chinese foreign policy. His books include Russiaand the New World Disorder (Brookings and Chatham House, forthcoming in 2013), Axis of Convenience: Moscow, Beijing and the New Geopolitics (Brookings and Chatham House, 2008). Other recent writings include ‘Kinder, gentler geopolitics’, Caixin Media, 22 January 2013, ‘A 21st century myth – authoritarian modernization in Russia and China’ (with Lilia Shevtsova), Carnegie Moscow Center Report, June 2012; ‘What can we learn from China’s modernisation?’, Diplomaatia,May 2012; ‘The Russia-China-US triangle and its post-Cold War fate’, in Robert E. Bedeski and Niklas Swanstrom (eds), and ‘How the Chinese See Russia’,French Institute of International Relations, Dec 2010.

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