ADI 2017 Conference Panel: Arms Race in Asia? The Role of China’s Military Rise for the Powers in Asia – University of Copenhagen

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ADI 2017 Conference Panel: Arms Race in Asia? The Role of China’s Military Rise for the Powers in Asia

Copenhagen ADI Conference 2017
9th annual international ADI conference
Asian Dynamics Initiative
University of Copenhagen 26-28 June 2017

Arms Race in Asia? The Role of China’s Military Rise for the Powers in Asia

Convener: Bertel Heurlin, Dept. of Political Science, University of Copenhagen 
Panel keynote: You Ji, University of Macau

The military expenditures in Asia are increasing. China is responsible for the highest growth although the percentage is gradually decreasing. China is now a strong military power second only to the USA. The country has initiated a transformation of the People’s Liberation Army which can be characterized as revolutionary. This transformation process is having a great impact on the Asian countries, Russia and the US.

The purpose of this panel is to identify and analyze the effects of the process based on scholarly papers covering the general strategic balance in Asia and the security related relations to the individual countries. 

For information about the panel please contact Bertel Heurlin bh@ifs.ku.dk.

Programme (subject to change):

PANEL: Arms Race in Asia?

Monday 26 June 2017

9:00-9:30

Registration

Plenary session – Auditorium 35.01.06

9:30-10:00

Welcome

 

10:00-11:00

Keynote lecture
Professor Francesca Bray, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh 
The politics of the handloom: craft, technology and the modern nation in China and India

11:00-11:15

Break

Panel session 1 – Chair: Bertel Heurlin, University of Copenhagen
Room: 7.0.08

 

11:15-13:15

 

Paul O’Shea, Lund University – discussant: You Ji, University of Macao
Rise and Fall: How Narratives of A ‘Rising’ China and a ‘Declining’ Japan Produce Nationalism at Home and Abroad

Russell Duncan, University of Copenhagen – discussant: Bertel Heurlin, University of Copenhagen
Xi’s “China Dream” and Trump’s “America First”: A New Arms Race in Asia

You Ji, University of Macao – discussant: Russell Duncan, University of Copenhagen
The
PLA Transformation and the New Pattern of Global Arms Race

Bertel Heurlin, University of Copenhagen – discussant: Paul O’Shea, Lund University
A New World Order, or still the Sole Superpower Order? Implications for the Arms race in Asia

13:15-14:30

Lunch

Panel session 2 – Panel debate, Moderator: Camilla T. N. Sørensen, University of Copenhagen

 

14:30-15:30

 

Theme: China’s military development and the East Asian Peace
Panelists: Paul O’Shea, Lund University, Russell Duncan, University of Copenhagen, Camilla T. N. Sørensen, University of Copenhagen, You Ji, University of Macao & Bertel Heurlin, University of Copenhagen

16:30-18:00

Reception


Conveners: Bertel Heurlin, University of Copenhagen, You Ji, University of Macao


Session guidelines:
Presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes. A presentation is followed by 10 minutes for the discussant and 10 minutes of general debate.

Abstracts

1.
Paul O’Shea, Associate senior lecturer, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
Rise and Fall: How Narratives of A ‘Rising’ China and a ‘Declining’ Japan Produce Nationalism at Home and Abroad
This paper analyses how mainstream conservative narratives of Japan’s ‘decline’ and China’s ‘rise’ enable, if not necessitate, certain hawkish foreign policy and nationalist domestic policy choices. Having already pushed Japan into third, the Chinese economy is now on track to overtake the US and claim first place. From the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to China’s actions in the South and East China Seas, as well as towards Taiwan, mainstream conservative Japanese narratives of China’s ‘rise’ emphasize its assertive, even aggressive nature. In contrast to this powerful rising China, Japan, it is said, is ‘declining’. Still struggling with the aftermath of the 2011 triple disaster, the Japanese economy is mired in a third ‘lost decade’, and mainstream conservative narratives tell of social problems and a malaise among Japanese youth. By focusing on China’s economic and military development relative to and in zero-sum terms with Japan, the narratives necessitate that a ‘declining’ Japanmust increase military spending, deepen interoperationality with the United States military, and ensure its long-term presence on the southern Okinawan Islands. More broadly, it must seek out other strategic partners in the region to contain China, and ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

2.
Russell Duncan, Professor of History and Politics, University of Copenhagen
Xi’s “China Dream” and Trump’s “America First”: A New Arms Race in Asia


3.
You Ji,
Professor, Government and Public Administration, University of Macau
The PLA Transformation and the New Pattern of Global Arms Race
In November 2015 Xi Jinping announced a new five-year plan of PLA reform. Once it is fully realized in 2020, the PLA will take on a complete new look. This presentation will assess the politics of PLA reform in the context of Xi’s political leadership. In addition the paper will analyse the reform from the military perspectives through reconstructing the new PLA force structure and the command chains. It argues that China’s tremendous efforts in force transformation are aligned with Xi’s shift of emphasis on war preparation from his predecessor’s on preparation to his on war per se. Now the new CMC system, new Army headquarters and new war-zone commandants have been institutionalized with new personnel lineup, new managerial structure and commanding procedures in place to implement Xi’s orders. However there have also emerged many new problems, as the new cannot fit in the old smoothly. My talks will specify the new challenges in the latest round of PLA reforms.

 

4.
Bertel Heurlin, Jean Monnet Professor, Political Science, University of Copenhagen
A New World Order, or still the Sole Superpower Order? Implications for the Arms race in
Asia
The paper examines differing interpretation of how to characterize the current international system in terms of polarity using  Kenneth Waltz International Politicstheory as point of departure in combination with Birthe Hansens unipolarity approach.(Birthe Hansen, 2011,”Unipolarity and Politics”, Routledge.)  Is the international system multipolar, bipolar or unipolar? And how to assess the possibility for war or arms race leading to war during the three kinds of Polarity? The current arms race in Asia  is used as a case. The paper argues that the current international structure still is unipolar despite it is generally emphasized – not least after the Trump administration has taken over- that the world is multipolar.  The analysis is using American and Chinese data and perception to support the argument. Especially the military capabilities of the two powers are highlighted.onetization.