Decades of research on the rise of global politics have addressed the importance of international organizations and regimes, and the diminishing role of the nation state. However, categories of “territory, law, economy, security, autonomy and membership” (Sassen 2008) are still very much attached to the nation state while international law and organizations play an important, though often complementary, role in global politics. At the same time, global migration and global terrorism have become two of the most salient difficulties in contemporary world affairs, and every nation-state must find ways to respond to the challenge they pose. Consequently, national security has re-emerged at the top of the political agenda in many states world-wide. China is no exception to this, and neither are other countries in the East Asian region. In fact, China has started to debate and work on specific measures and policies to confront these challenges domestically, regionally and internationally.
Strictly speaking, there is no direct link between migration and terrorism, although this link is often politically constructed by governments in order to serve set purposes. But although migration per se does not lead to terrorism, and restricting migration certainly does not eradicate terrorism, recent terrorist activities across the world, including those conducted by refugees in Europe, have triggered debates in many countries on the adjustment of migration policies to contain terrorism. China follows these debates closely. Our research group will not only trace Chinese official and academic discourses on the links between migration, religious extremism and terrorism, but also corresponding discourses in the broader East Asian region, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Research Questions and Methodology
Overall, we will focus this project on the following research questions:
Initially, we are planning to hold two workshops which are structured around the two main research areas: global migration and global terrorism. We will then hold a joint conference in order to address the discourses that link these issues. The first workshop entitled “Migration Regimes in China and East Asia from the Perspective of Sovereignty and International Law” will compare China’s immigration policy regime with those of other East Asian states and entities (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong). This workshop will be held in Berlin in October 2017. The second workshop addressing “China’s Approaches to Counterterrorism: global, regional, and local dimensions” will be held in February 2018, bringing together specialists on international law, migration and counterterrorism, experts on border management and border security, and scholars specializing in foreign and security policy in East Asia.
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 The ASEAN member states and China cooperate closely on border security issues, such as joint efforts to standardize border administration and coordinate border control, as by the Mekong River patrol that is staffed by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.