6pm Tuesday 23 July: The ongoing balancing of power in Asia is profound and transformative. Chinese views of a power shift in Asia have undergone an evolutionary process. In the 1980s, Chinese analysts looked at the newly industrializing economies (NIEs) in such as South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, with amazement and admiration, and eagerly wanted to catch up. In the 1990s, when China’s own economy was rapidly developing, Chinese observers talked more about the rise of East Asia as a whole, with China a part of it. Entering into the 2000s, China’s “peaceful rise”(and doubts it actually is) emerged and continues to be a prominent theme, especially in Australia. Despite China having become the world’s second largest economy, Chinese officials remain cautious about what role China may take as a regional hegemon. China’s foreign policy for now rests on what it describes as its “core interests”, a term applied to Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan and more recently territorial disputes in the South China Sea and with Japan.
Meanwhile, Chinese academics have different assessments. However, if Chinese power grows on the back of assumed continued economic growth and military modernization, other responsibilities as a ‘responsible global stakeholder’ emerges. For example, where will China stand on issues such as nuclear non-proliferation? Given the new Xi-Li leadership, how China looks at itself and its international role and responsibilities is an important question which deserves the closest examination.
We are delighted to welcome Dr Ren Xiao, who is visiting Sydney, to present his views on this topic.
Dr Ren Xiao is currently a professor of international politics at the Institute of International Studies (IIS), Fudan University, Shanghai, and the director of the Center for the Study of Chinese Foreign Policy at IIS. Previously he was senior fellow and director of the Asia Pacific Studies Department, Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS). Dr Ren studied at the University of Essex in England (1990-91) and held research or teaching positions at the University of Turku, Finland, Nagoya University, Japan, and The George Washington University in Washington, DC, U.S.A. His research concentrates on the theory of international politics, international relations of the Asia-Pacific, Northeast Asian security, and Chinese foreign policy. He is a member of the China National Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP), and worked at the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo in 2010 and 2011. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Fudan University in 1992.
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