China and the World
This multiyear project, coordinated by Thomas Fingar, Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow, at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, looks sequentially and systematically at China’s interactions with countries in all regions and across many issue areas. The project seeks to clarify China’s objectives and policies to achieve them, but it also seeks to identify and explain the goals and policy calculations of other countries that see opportunities and perils associated with China’s greater activism on the world stage.
Phase one of the project examined China’s engagement with Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Scholars and foreign policy practitioners from China, Japan, the ROK, Russia, and the United Stated discussed these questions at a two-day workshop in Beijing in March 2012. Participants from several Southeast Asian countries also attended the workshop to ensure that questions explored were broad enough to facilitate comparisons and the search for patterns and learning across issues and areas at the follow-on regional workshop held in Singapore in November 2012.
The Singapore workshop, phase 2, discussed China's objectives and policies with respect to Southeast Asia, but focused primarily on the ways in which China's approach and actions are perceived by individual countries in the region and what regional countries seek to achieve with respect to China. Implicit in some of the presentations was the notion that China was trying to restore its traditional primacy in the region and to prevent any country inside or outside of Southeast Asia from exercising greater regional influence. Other participants emphasized material goals, including access to resources, markets for Chinese goods, and fostering economic dependence on China. Participants agreed that China's influence and impact are large and growing and that states in the region are pursuing different strategies to advance their own interests and maximize their own freedom of action.
The third workshop, to be held at Stanford University on June 20-21, 2013, will examine China’s relationship with South and Central Asia. While there is a focus on the bilateral relationship between China and India, the largest and most powerful regional actor, the conference will also look at other key bilateral relationships, such as with Pakistan, and at interactions on a regional level, including in the economic sphere. The workshop will explore the management of cross border issues such as migration flows, water, and energy resource development. The sessions on Central Asia will offer broader understanding of China’s intersection with other powers such as Russia and India in that region.