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  • Author: Joseph MacKay
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: International relations scholars have recently taken increased interest in empire. However, research has often focused on European colonial empires. This article aims to evaluate imperialism in a non-Western historical setting: Late Imperial China. The article first compares extant international relations (IR) accounts of empire (one broad and one narrow) to theories of the East Asian hierarchical international system. Second, to further specify analysis, I evaluate IR theories of empire against the historical record of the Ming and Qing dynasties, addressing Chinese relations with surrounding 'tributary' states, conquered imperial possessions, and other neighboring polities. I argue that while IR theories of empire capture much of the region's historical politics, they nonetheless underspecify it. Theories of East Asian hierarchy suggest additional mechanisms at work. The historical cases suggest extensive variation in how empires expand and consolidate. I conclude that there is room for further theory building about empire in IR and suggest possible areas of emphasis.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Alexander C. Tan, Michael I. Magcamit
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to explore and explain the process through which Taiwan utilizes free trade – both at multilateral and bilateral levels – in enhancing its shrinking de facto sovereignty against the backdrop of ubiquitous 'China factor' in the twenty-first century. It argues that China's sinicization project creates a scenario wherein increasing cross-strait stability ironically leads to decreasing de facto sovereignty for Taiwan. Due to this existing cross-strait security dilemma, Taiwanese leaders are being forced to preserve the island's quasi-independent statehood due to fears of losing its remaining de facto autonomy over domestic and foreign affairs. In essence, Taiwan chooses to be de facto free by remaining de jure unfree. Taiwan's sovereign space, therefore, becomes a pivotal referent object of its national security policy and strategy. Balancing between the two paradoxical interests of enhancing sovereignty while maintaining the Chinese-dominated cross-strait status-quo underlines the relentless games, changes, and fears that Taiwan confronts today.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Marc Lanteigne, Aglaya Snetkov
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The global issue of humanitarian intervention has become more pronounced and complicated in recent years due to increasingly diverging views on addressing security crises between the West on one side and Russia and China on the other. Despite their support for the principles of 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P), both Russia and China are wary of Western intervention in internal conflicts after the Cold War and have become increasingly critical of Western-led armed intervention in humanitarian conflicts. Unease in Beijing and Moscow over the multilateral intervention in the 2011 Libyan conflict and their ongoing opposition to Western policies in the Syrian Civil War since 2011 would seem to point to ever more coincidence in their negative views of American and Western intervention policies. A conventional wisdom has thus emerged that there is something akin to a Sino–Russian 'bloc', with near-identical policies of discouraging armed intervention within state borders under the aegis of humanitarian intervention or the R2P doctrine, signed in 2005 (2005 World Summit). However, closer examination of Russian and Chinese positions on the Libyan and Syrian conflicts, drawing on normative and identity perspectives, reveals significant differences in how both states address intervention in civil conflicts involving human rights emergencies. Indeed, the Libyan and Syrian cases suggest that the distance between the two states on 'acceptable' policies toward international intervention in civil conflicts may actually be increasing. While Russia has assumed the role of the 'loud dissenter' in global dialogs on humanitarian intervention, China has opted for the position of a 'cautious partner'.
  • Topic: Cold War, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Syria
  • Author: Kan Kimura
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In recent years, East Asian countries have faced serious challenges with regard to regional security. The bilateral relationships between China and Japan, and Japan and South Korea, have become increasingly strained due to a variety of disagreements over key political issues, such as territorial claims. Some observers argue that China and Japan may become involved in a direct military confrontation in the near future over the Senkaku/ Diaoyu Islands. The increasing levels of naval and aerial engagements between the two countries demonstrate that such arguments can no longer be seen as 'out of the question'. While two democracies in the region, Japan and South Korea, are both major alliance partners with the United States and share the key security concern of countering North Korea's nuclear and conventional provocations, the two have suffered deteriorating relations since 2012. For instance, the General Security of Military Information Agreement, which provided a mechanism through which Japan and South Korea could share military technology, was canceled in July 2012. Furthermore, the two states have been embroiled in an increasingly antagonistic territorial dispute over Takeshima/Dokdo Islands since President Lee Myung-bak's visit to the islands in August 2012.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Hiroki Takeuchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China and Japan have been deepening economic interdependence over the last two decades, while China has recently shown territorial ambitions and initiated disputes with Japan. This runs contrary to the commercial liberal literature that argues that trade promotes peace. On the other hand, the realist theory also does not fully explain Sino-Japanese relations because Sino-Japanese relations are not always in conflict. The rise of China and the relative decline of Japan might explain increasing tensions in the rivalry relationship, but what drives Chinese leaders to initiate disputes? I address the importance of domestic politics to examine Sino-Japanese disputes. I argue that the recent deterioration of the bilateral relationship could be explained by the power struggle in the Chinese leadership. To support the logic of this argument, I use a game-theoretic model, which accounts for how the type of Chinese leadership influences foreign policy outcomes in Sino-Japanese relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China
  • Author: Ian Tsung-yen Chen
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Global economic imbalance leads to change in the global distribution of economic resources. While some foresee the inevitable decline of US power, others consider China's forthcoming global primacy to be an exaggeration. This paper seeks to contribute to the debate by linking balance of payments (BOP) to power analysis. Dimensions of BOP are connected to Keohane and Nye's two ideal-types of interdependence relationship: realist and complex interdependence. The former relates to the global distribution of aggregate economic resources; the latter emphasizes a detailed investigation of distinct interdependence situations between countries. China's BOP from 1997 to 2012 is assessed through the lens of both ideal-type scenarios. The findings show that China's growing power manifests principally in its rising status as a major global buyer in primary goods and its growing military strength in the region. However, China is confronted with possible slowdown in wealth accumulation and its lagging technological development. At present, the speculation of China's upcoming global primacy may be exaggerated, but its dominant position in the region is indeed on the rise.
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Ming Wan
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China has gone global, but most China experts in the American academic community have gone local, moving in the opposite direction. As Shambaugh has observed rightly, 'big picture' books on China in the United States have been written by virtually anyone but China scholars. A crucial reason for this academic trend is the current obsession with theories and methods in the social sciences departments, which has changed the incentive structure for scholars who compete for employment, promotion, recognition, and funding. Moreover, given the increasingly complex nature of China's greater presence in the world on so many dimensions, it is also the case that a new generation of scholars trained to be specialized in narrow research topics would arguably find it difficult to write a big book even if they want to. As guilty as many others, this reviewer also encourages his own students to follow a narrow path out of fear that they would otherwise be placed at a competitive disadvantage even though he shares the same concern with Shambaugh.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America
  • Author: Van Jackson
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Why do hedging strategies appear so pervasive in Asia? This article argues that hedging – not balancing or bandwagoning – is the central tendency in Asian international relations, offering three different lenses for making sense of this phenomenon, focusing in particular on the third: power transition theory, mistrust under multipolarity, and complex networks. Each perspective highlights different factors that explain the incentives for Asian states to hedge, what hedging looks like, and how long hedging is likely to endure. Power transition theory tells us that hedging is the result of uncertainty about a possible power transition between the United States and China. Multipolarity points us to uncertainty about the intentions of a growing number of states. And the logic of complex networks explains hedging as a response to the topology of Asia's complex network structure - consisting of sensitivity, fluidity, and heterarchy – which makes it difficult for Asian-foreign policy elites to assess the future consequences of present day commitments.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Takamichi Mito
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This book by Kent Calder successfully demonstrates the growing geopolitical ties between oil and gas producers and consumers around the central Eurasian continent, which spreads from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and the former Soviet Union to India, China, South Korea and Japan; this vast area he terms the New Silk Road. According to Calder, these ties are being institutionalized, a development he terms the 'new continentalism'. This is brought by a series of critical junctures in geopolitics and the growing economic needs of oil and gas producers and consumers in the region. These junctures signify major policy changes caused by international or domestic factors, such as, the oil crises of the 1970s; Deng Xiaoping's Four Modernizations in China, which started in 1978; India's financial crisis, which led to economic reforms from 1991; the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; and the rise of Vladimir Putin in 1999. These subsequently brought about a series of politico-economic realignments; nationally, regionally, and internationally, a pre-requisite to the rise of the new continentalism.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, South Korea
  • Author: Unryu Suganuma
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Japan's nationalization of the Diaoyu Islands in 2012 reignited the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute that had been relatively quiet since the 1970s,making news headlines yet again. Renewed attention to the dispute prompted the publication of a number of books in Japan and China, including this book, claiming to be 'the first academic book in more than a decade focusing exclusively on the Senkaku issue....'While Eldridge's book has some positive points, such as addressing declassified information relating to the Diaoyu Islands in the period between the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) in 1951 and the Reversion Treaty in1971, the book has some critical shortcomings.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China