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G2S2 Lecture – Dr. To-hai Liou : ASEAN-China in Asia Development

By 07/24/2019No Comments

07/22/2019? Great Power Practice in International Organization and Global Governance

Lecture Topic: ASEAN-China in Asia Development

Class taken by Dr. To-hai Liou

Dr. To-hai Liou talked about ASEAN-China in Asia development in the G2S2 lecture on July 22, 2019. This is one of the important issues in the course of “Great Power Practice in International Organizations and Global Governance”. ASEAN and China are two main players in regional order which have significantly contributed to Asia development.?? According to Dr. Liou, Sino-ASEAN relations improved in the 1970s following China’s economic reforms and open door policy. Since then, China has been gradually integrated to Southeast Asian region. Moreover, a rapid expansion of intra-regional trade and investment has greatly increased the interdependence of East Asian economies. As a major power in the region, China proposed to set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2013 to provide Asian countries with funding for infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, China also launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to enhance regional connectivity. Within six years, 152 countries and international organizations have engaged in the initiative.

Interested in exploring the issue, some students raised questions of the strategic meaning of the BRI for their own countries or regions. Indian student Kumari Mansi discussed the possibility for her country to make cooperation with China under the BRI projects. Dr. Liou suggested India to focus on economic development rather than security issue. So, it is important for India to engage with the BRI. Furthermore, Indonesian student Rizki Novanto asked the BRI’s affect to ASEAN centrality regarding the growing competition between the United Stated and China. Dr. Liou argued that ASEAN countries would maintain geographic proximity and the BRI affected more export from the region to China than that to the US.

In the last part of lecture, Dr. Liou demonstrated future challenges for ASEAN-China relations, namely territorial disputes in the South China Sea, overseas Chinese and foreign intervention. To maintain regional stability, ASEAN countries will try to avoid intervention from external powers. Therefore, China’s claim in the South China Sea is considered as the greatest challenge for ASEAN countries.