Global Leadership with Chinese Characteristics? – University of Copenhagen

ADI Conference 2018 > Panels > Global Leadership with...

10th Annual International ADI Conference
Asian Dynamics Initiative, University of Copenhagen
18-20 June 2018    

Panel:

Global Leadership with Chinese Characteristics?

Convener: Andreas Bøje Forsby, NIAS and Peter Marcus Kristensen, Dept. of Political Sciences, University of Copenhagen

The political underpinnings of the so-called ‘US-led liberal international order’ are under stress. The United States under President Trump has signaled a retreat from multilateralism, international cooperation on issues ranging from free trade to climate change, and its global leadership responsibilities. Allies as well as rivals are raising doubts about whether the United States will continue to play the global leadership role and uphold the institutions and norms of the international order it has installed in the aftermath of World War II. The question posed by both policymakers and analysts then is: who, if anyone, will provide global leadership? Should we expect a general “global leadership vacuum” or is it more likely that as the US steps back, others will step forward; perhaps even resulting in an intensified conflict over leadership? Amidst the talk of America’s abdication, China has been taking on a more active role in global economic governance and a more assertive foreign and security policy. The transition from ‘keeping a low profile’ to ‘striving for achievement’ has been going on for some years. But the process has been sped up in the Trump era where Xi Jinping has reinforced China’s commitment to globalization, multilateralism, free trade, economic development and cooperation, combating climate change and generally has aspired for a greater global leadership role. Whether and how China will assume a position of global leadership is one of the most important questions regarding global order and governance in the 21st century. However, the role for Europe in a potentially ‘post-American’ world where China is aspiring for global leadership is equally challenging, intellectually and politically, yet often downplayed due to the focus on Sino-U.S. rivalry and aspirations for global leader. While we centre the panel around the question of ‘Global Leadership with Chinese Characteristics’, we invite both Chinese and Europe participants to reflect on how China and Europe are tackling and struggling with the current pressures to the international order and what leadership role they envision for themselves within it.

Potential questions to be addressed in the panel are: Is global governance suffering from a leadership vacuum or rather undergoing a leadership transition from the U.S. to other actors, including Europe, China and other emerging powers? In the case of Chinese leadership, is there a unique Chinese mode of leadership, a ‘global leadership with Chinese characteristics’? If so, what are its dimensions, what sources does it draw upon, how does it differ from other modes of leadership? Is China at all willing and capable of providing global leadership? What are the main vectors that affect its willingness and capacity for leadership? Particularly, what are the domestic vectors (public opinion, domestic political and economic needs, etc.) and international ones (China’s ability to attract followership, gain recognition from existing great powers, etc.). On what issues will China lead? In other words, what are the main sectors in which we are most likely to see China attempt to lead – and those where we are not? The panel is composed so as to cover issues ranging from traditional to non-traditional security through international political economy to more normative, cultural and values-based issues.

Keywords: Global Order and Governance, Leadership Vacuum, Leadership Transition, President Trump, China, the United States and Europe

20 June

Global Leadership with Chinese Characteristics?
Room: 35.3.20

9:00-11:00 Introduction by Andreas Bøje Forsby, NIAS - Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

Karin Buhmann, Department of Management, Society and Communication, Copenhagen Business School

Chinese guidance for responsible overseas mining sector investments and minerals supply chains: Building international respect for China on the global stage

Alexandra Jingsi Ni, CEAS, University of Turku

Global leadership with “Chinese Characteristics”: implications of the resurgence of China as an emerging superpower in East Asia

Srikanth Thaliyakkattil, National University of Singapore

International Relations with Chinese Characteristics: A Study of China’s engagement with South Asian countries

11:00-11:15 Break
11:15-12:45

Jiangtian Xu, UACES, University Association of Contemporary European Studies, London

Can China Be the New Hegemon of International Politics? Game Theory Analysis of China-EU Battle for International Regime Making

Hanne Petersen, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

Reflections on Chinese Contributions to Global Normative Pluralism

Discussion and wrap up
12:45-13:45 Lunch

Abstracts

1.
Karin Buhmann,
Professor, Dr.scient.adm. and PhD; cand.jur. et exam.art. (East Asian Studies), Department of Management, Society and Communication, Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

Chinese guidance for responsible overseas mining sector investments and minerals supply chains: Building international respect for China on the global stage
The government-related China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals in 2014 and 2015 issues two sets of guidelines, developed in collaboration with the NGO Global Witness. Aiming to promote responsible investment in the minerals sector and risk-based due diligence to ensure socially responsible sourcing of minerals with a particular focus on human rights, the guidelines refer to international human rights standards adopted by the United Nations (UN) and are consistent with guidance issued by the OECD (despite China not being an OECD-member. Adopting a socio-legal analytical approach to transnational business governance, the paper’s analysis is based on a reading of the Guidelines as soft law instruments and an assessment of their normative substance vis-à-vis UN and OECD instruments and China’s policy position on human rights as a states’ internal affairs. The paper discusses the guidelines as responses to international critique of the social impacts of Chinese economic engagement in mining and minerals, particularly in Africa, and analyses the implications of the alignment and explicit reference to international standards on transnational business governance in regard to human rights impacts. It finds that the Guidelines in some ways conflict with China’s own policies on human rights as internal affairs by engaging with human rights issues in other states. It shows that the guidelines can be explained as elements of China’s efforts to enhance the country’s reputation as a responsible actor on the global stage. While China did not originally take leadership in this particular area, aligning its guidance with international standards helps China being seen to be among global leaders. The paper concludes that by demonstrating willingness to address social sustainability in the mining/minerals sector, China can contribute to strengthening its basis for taking global leadership in other sustainability areas.

2.
Alexandra Jingsi Ni
,
PhD candidate affiliated with the CEAS, University of Turku, Finland

Global leadership with “Chinese Characteristics”: implications of the resurgence of China as an emerging superpower in East Asia
Up till the current moment, the US is still very much the de facto hegemon that has sustained a so-called “ unipolar world ” (单极世界) ever since the dramatic demise of the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s, which is comprehensively marked as a political triumph of the Western Camp.

Both within and outside the global academia, harsh criticisms of the “ unipolar world ” are fairly numerous, especially from the more critical, non-Western perspectives. It’s noteworthy that many commentators are actually happy to see the rise of China since they believe that a more powerful China could hypothetically balance out the US and its arbitrary and interventionist behaviors across the globe. However, other commentators, notably those based in the US, have expressed their strategic concerns of the ongoing transformations of the “ World Orders ” (世界格局) that are significantly contributed by the increasingly confident and ambitious China in East Asia.

It’s evident that China is an enthusiastic promoter of a “ multipolar world ” (多极世界), at least according to its diplomatic rhetoric.The Xi Administration has recently invented a very appealing and persuasive political catchphrase: an international community of shared future (人类命运共同体), which intriguingly signals both subtle and powerful political messages, notably multilateralism, interdependency and co-development.

In my research paper, I would like to elaborate on the following arguments: A) what are the critical differences between the global leadership proposed by the US and that by China; B) what are the key drivers of the perceptible transformations of the “ world orders ”and C) is there an inevitable collision between the national interests of the US and that of China?and how these two megaforces compete and/or compromise with each other?

3.
Srikanth Thaliyakkattil,
Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

International Relations with Chinese Characteristics: A Study of China’s engagement with South Asian countries

4.
Jiangtian Xu,
UACES Scholar 2017, University Association of Contemporary European Studies, London, UK

Can China Be the New Hegemon of International Politics? Game Theory Analysis of China-EU Battle for International Regime Making
The ultimate ambition of the paper is to explore whether China can be the new international hegemon by implementing its One Belt One Road Grand Strategy under the regional multilateralism within the context of the case of establishing new international civil aviation orders.

Game Theory analysis will be used as the method to explore whether China-EU Open Skies Agreement can be formed as the new model of international civil aviation regimes to enable EU as the new civil aviation hegemon in the world. The four game theory scenarios between China and EU’s rational interactions (friendly or cold to each other) will be exposed, while the four payoffs of China and EU’s each within four different contexts of EU and China’s rational behavior patterns will be compared vertically and horizontally. More importantly the flows between four game theory interaction scenarios will be analyzed to figure out the pros and cons in line with the gains and losses during the flows to identify the most stable scenario for the two parties to have the Open Skies Agreement signed in order to build the new international civil aviation regime.

The research findings from Krasner, Ikenberry, Keohane, Nye, Stein, Powell and others in relation to regime theory as well as game theory will be reviewed, and exploratory study of my research approached by game theory analysis can contribute new dimension to both academic discussion as well as practical operations of international civil aviation politics which mainly claims that China has high potential of being the new international civil aviation hegemon with the ideology of regional multilateralism.

5.
Hanne Petersen,
Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

Reflections on Chinese Contributions to Global Normative Pluralism
This presentation argues that tomorrow’s globalized normative order cannot be expected to resemble that of yesterday, which was strongly dominated by US legal culture and norms. The assumptions of state equality in a world of primarily quite small states and very few mega states is challenged under a changing asymmetrical geopolitical order. Growing Chinese demand for goods, involvement in world trade and global investment is leading to a growing global importance of ‘Chinese values’ (such as harmony). Several of the small Nordic states already have had to recognize this. However, the growing economic disparity globally and nationally also seems to challenge these norms and values internally in China, which has so far focused strongly on economic growth as a means to uphold political legitimacy.  Both demography, rural/urban and gender and generational differences give rise to an internal normative crisis (exemplified by the concern with the so-called ‘left behind children’ and ‘left-over women) and concern with a lack of a social cohesion.

The paper is based upon a number of research trips and earlier articles, and is a continuation of a recent article “Chinese Contributions to Global Normative Pluralism”. In Naveiñ Reet: Nordic Journal of Law and Social Research. Special Issue on “Law and Transitional Society: Chinese and Global Perspectives”. No. 7, 2016-2017. (2018) Available at www.jlsr.tors.ku.dk