The Elusive Pursuit of Regionalism? China and Interconnectivity in East Asia

Conveners: Chunrong Liu, Fudan-European Centre for China Studies, University of Copenhagen, Erik Mobrand, Seoul National University

Copenhagen ADI Conference 2016
8th annual international ADI conference
Asian Dynamics Initiative, University of Copenhagen 20-22 June 2016

Over the last two decades, there has been substantial progress in cooperation in Asia evidenced by the proliferation of free trade negotiations and community building projects. The rise of China and its recent regional interconnectivity projects of Belt and Road Strategy, which comprises an initiative to enhance Eurasian economic connectivity through the construction of a Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and a Maritime Silk Road (MSR), have generated new dynamics to regionalism.

Despite the growing inter-connectivity that China seeks to invigorate, East Asia still lacks sufficient institutional infrastructures to mitigate potential conflicts, and achieving the goal of building community of common destiny remains a daunting task. Cultural and religious diversity, stark economic disparities, confrontational nationalism, widespread domestic governance issues, various forms of security threats have combined to challenge community building efforts in East Asia.

This panel will delve into a variety of issues associated with community building within the region, including the current peace and stability issues, trade, finance and the increasingly social and cultural dynamics. A special focus shall be placed on the role of China and how the interconnectivity within the region can be manifested and negotiated. The deliberations on domestic factors that may shape regional development are also highly expected.