ThinkChina.dk Policy Brief: Can the East Asian Peace Survive? – University of Copenhagen

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02 May 2017

ThinkChina.dk Policy Brief: Can the East Asian Peace Survive?

In this policy brief, Professor Stein Tønnesson, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and East Asian Peace program, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, deals with the new uncertainty concerning President Donald Trump's China and North Korea policies that have instilled new fears of war in East Asia, a region that has enjoyed a surprising level of peace for almost four decades. Yet, if China treats Trump with care, the region may remain peaceful.

The Policy Brief argues that       

  • In order to assess the future of peace in East Asia we need to understand how it came about.
  • Out of the three peace foundations, East Asia has just economic integration. And its pacifying effect may be lost if the Chinese economy – the main engine of regional and global economic growth – stops growing.
  • Until a grand bargain is made between the US and China, or the two governments have felt each other's teeth in a serious crisis, we will have to live with the risk of a Sino-US confrontation. 
  • The statistics of the recent peaceful past, however, give no ground for complacency. Deterrence and inter-dependence may not be enough to safeguard the peace, if the region loses its faith in development

Download: Can the East Asian Peace Survive?