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EVFplus Workshop "Duelling Spatial Realities? China and Japan Redefining Spatial Order in (East) Asia"

Oct 10, 2019 - Oct 11, 2019

The conference workshop brings together experts who have been continuously working with both Einstein Visiting Fellows Gunter Schubert (Sovereignty and International Law in the PR China) and Richard J. Samuels (East Asian Security).

China’s transformation from a developing country to a global great power has kick-started much controversy among academics as well as practitioners on how this transformation will affect and change global politics. Defining East Asia has always been a difficult matter. Although constructivist minded scholars define regions as socially, politically and discursively constructed spatial realities, which are often based on geographical proximity and/or shared historical ties, cultural heritage and values, the conventional concept of distinguishing the global order into different regions is based on predominantly Western perspectives. China’s own cognitive map concerning territorial space and regional order in East Asia, as well as the perspectives and responses of actors that are directly affected by China’s ambitions and global outreach (first and foremost Japan), however, have hardly been discussed so far.

Against this background, the workshop addresses the following questions: How do China and Japan define the political space of East Asia and how do they relate to it? What role and importance do they assign to the concept of region? Is China actively aiming at creating a Sino-centric vision of global political order, most notably via its Belt and Road Initiative? How does that initiative contribute to a new kind of connectivity among states and how does it challenge our hitherto understanding of intergovernmental institutions and regional dynamics in (East) Asia? What are Japan’s perceptions, responses and concrete countermeasures to the assumed spread of a new Sino-centric spatial concept? Is Japan actively challenging China’s understanding and construction of spatial order with its own vision, concept or strategy to create a new regional order in (East) Asia? For instance, how do we have to understand Japan’s relation to the narrative of an ‘Indo-Pacific’ region which has been coming to the fore recently? And how are the concepts of political space and regional order promoted by China and Japan transferred into concrete foreign policy measures?

Preliminary Programme

Day 1 (10 Oct. 2019) The Construction of Spatial Realities in China and Japan
9:15 - 9:45 Registration
9:45 - 10:30 Opening Remarks (Gunter Schubert, Anastasiya Bayok, Kai Schulze
10:30 - 12:15

Panel 1: China’s and Japan’s Spatial Realities: conceptualizing strategic priorities in and beyond the “home region”

Terada Takashi, Faculty of Law, Doshisha University

Guan Guihai, Institute of International and Strategic Studies at Peking University

12:15 - 13:45 Lunch Break
13:45 - 15:30

Panel 2: China’s Global Ambitions: perspectives from China and Japan

Liu Xing, School of political science and public administration, China University of Political Science and Law

Taku Tamaki, Faculty of politics and international studies, Loughborough University

 15:30 - 15:45 Coffee Break
 15:45 - 17:30

Panel 3: Overlapping Japanese and Chinese Geopolitical and Connectivity Agendas

Ashizawa Kuniko, School of international service, American University Washington

Lin Minwang, Institute of international studies, Fudan University

Day 2 (11 Oct. 2019) Regional and Global Consequences of the Duelling Spatial Realities
9:00 - 10:45

Panel 4: Regional Consequences of Duelling Spatial Realities: Agency and Strategic Dilemmas

Corey Wallace, Freie Universität Berlin (Oceania/Southeast Asia view)

Key-young (Kay) Son, Asiatic Research Institute, Korea University (South Korea view)

Garima Mohan, Global Public Policy Institute Berlin (India view)

10:45 - 11:00

Coffee Break

11:00 - 12:45

Panel 5: Global Consequences of Duelling Spatial Realities: perspectives from the U.S., Europe and Russia

Duncan Freeman, College of Europe (EU view on China)

Marie Söderberg, Stockholm School of Economics (EU view on Japan)

Jeffrey Mankoff, Center for Strategic and International Studies Washington (Russia and U.S. view)

12:45 - 14:15

Lunch Break

14:15 - 15:00

Final Discussion and Concluding Remarks

Time & Location

Oct 10, 2019 - Oct 11, 2019

HFB/KIII Conference Room III
Henry-Ford-Bau, Freie Universität Berlin
Garystr. 35
14195 Berlin

Further Information

Please register with the conference organisers: