5 April 2018

ThinkChina Podcast: China and the Re-Centering of Asia

If you missed out on the ChinaTalks lecture by professor Brantly Womack on "China and the Re-Centering of Asia", organised by ThinkChina.dk and the Deparment of Political Science (UCPH)on the 8th of March 2018, you can now listen to the full lecture as a podcast.

Traditional China remained central to East and Central Asia despite centuries of discord and conquests by outsiders. While China’s internal cohesion and preponderance of power wavered, the three constants underlying its centrality were its presence (central location and absence of alternative centers), its population, and its productivity. In the modern era China was overpowered, but more importantly the West provided alternative presence and much greater productivity. In the current multinodal era China’s ambition is to re-establish its centrality. Presence returns as inclusive connectivity. Population returns as market. Production returns initially as manufactures but increasingly as technology and international services. But the diplomatic culture appropriate to globally inclusive Asian centricity is neither the paternalism of the tribute system nor the domination of modern imperialism. China’s major external challenge will be to avoid slipping into the traditional complacency that centrality implies superiority.

Listen to the lecture