Sixth Asian Studies Conference Japan
    Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23
    Ichigaya Campus of Sophia University


last update 2002/03/09

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Contact the organizers: Asian Studies Conference (ASCJ) c/o Institute of Asian Cultural Studies, International Christian University 3-10-2 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181


Session 10
China and Its Asian Neighbors in the New Century
Organizer / Chair: Daojiong Zha, International University of Japan

The significance of the evolution of relations between China and its Asian neighbors is growing. The attraction of "China threat" as a thesis to summarize regional reactions to the rise of China seems to have subsided in recent years. Nonetheless, is the future of China's relations with its small Asian neighbors easier to predict? This panel addresses this and related questions. Hongpyo Lee begins the panel with a review of post-Cold War China's relations with the two Koreas. Gaye Christoffersen takes stock of China's embrace of the ASEAN + 3 formula for discussing regional political and economic affairs. Jeanyoung Lee takes the analysis to the societal level: migration of ethnic Korean Chinese into Korea, an issue that can potentially enter the arena of governmental level relations in the future. Finally, Hiroaki Takeuchi provides an update on Taiwan-China relations, arguably the most important variable in the East Asian region.

1) Hong Pyo Lee, Nagoya University. "China's Triangular Relationship with the Two Koreas: Implications for Northeast Asian Security in the 21st Century"

At the center of Northeast Asian security is the Korean situation as a collapsing North Korea is regarded as the site of East Asia's potentially most dangerous crisis, let alone its missile and nuclear programs. Nothing seems to matter more than China's role in the future of the Korean peninsula and beyond from a geopolitical perspective. China has a keen interest in inter-Korean affairs because its program of economic reform and opening, which has been the engine of its rapid growth since the late 1970s. China's future role in the region can be easily affected by the unfolding situation of the Korean peninsula. Yet China remains one of the few countries that could exert great influence over the future course of Korean unification.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the emerging triangle among China and the two Koreas in the post-Cold War period. The paper will examine the evolution of China's policy toward the Korean peninsula in the 1990s before highlighting the factors that would continue to affect China's policy toward the two Koreas in the 21st century. This paper will conclude by exploring some implications of China's changing relations with the two Koreas for regional security in the new century.

2) Gaye Christoffersen, Naval Postgraduate School. "China and ASEAN+3"

The ASEAN +3 is the newest and least studied East Asian multilateral regime to emerge in the 1990s. The regional organization has acquired multiple identities as it has evolved, reflecting a complex process of regime formation. Chinese thinking on security and Chinese identity have evolved with it. This paper will examine the identities that have been put forth by member states as they discuss, negotiate and bargain over the shaping of this East Asian regime.

3) Jeanyoung Lee, Kyung Hee University. "Korean Chinese Labour Migration to Korea: Politics of Ethnicity"

Foreign labor migration to South Korea has drastically increased and become a political agenda for the Korean society. Among the foreign migrant workers, the case of Chosonjok, Korean minority in China, is unique. Attitudes towards the Chosonjok by such actors of the Korean society as the government, NGOs, and local people test the notion of ethnicity, nation, nationalism and human rights of Korea. It also affects Korea's diplomatic relations with China because the Chosonjok are Chinese nationals. Therefore, the presence of Chosonjok workers in Korean society is a good indicator to see development of the society, internally as well as internationally. This paper discusses attitudes of the Korean society towards the Chosonjok and their reaction to the society. Considerations include legal institutions, perceptions, ethnic relations, working conditions as well as diplomatic disputes.

4) Hiroki Takeuchi, University of California at Los Angeles, "Taiwan's Democratization and the Cross-Strait Relationship"

This paper explores the effect of Taiwan's democratization on the cross-strait relationship. The paper focuses on development of Taiwan's democracy and how it has changed the nature of conflict between China and Taiwan. How does a current democratic Taiwanese government behave differently from the period of authoritarianism? How does Beijing treat differently between the case in which Taiwan has a democratic government and the case in which Taiwan has an authoritarian government? Beijing knows that Taipei's China policy reflects the constituent's preference about the cross-strait relationship but is not exactly sure what the Taiwanese voters' preferences are. In this paper, based on my private interviews in Taipei in July 2000, I argue that China's democratization is a key to solve the conflict.

Discussant: Daojiong Zha, International University of Japan


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