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China and the Two Pivots: Perspectives on U.S. and Russian Rebalancing to Asia

May 20, 2015 | 04:00 PM c.t. - 06:00 PM

Partly in response to the U.S. policy of rebalancing to Asia, Chinese leaders have been trying to define their vision of Asia for Asians, involving developing plans for a Silk Road economic belt and a maritime Silk Road. The Russian pivot to Asia complicates this agenda. On one hand Chinese analysts portray Russia as a European power, but on the other hand they seek to justify Russia’s legitimate role in Asia and encourage Sino-Russian cooperation to counter perceived pressures from the United States. Although Chinese observers, in varying degrees, view the U.S. rebalancing policy as threatening, Russia’s Asia pivot and response to the U.S. Asia policy initiative are largely seen as neutral or positive for China even though some aspects of the Russian policy are at odds with Chinese interests. It will be argued that the value Chinese observers place on the Sino-Russian partnership offsets these policy differences by creating a sense of mutual empowerment.

Elizabeth Wishnick is Associate Professor of Political Science at Montclair State University and, since 2002, a senior research scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. Professor Wishnick's research focuses on Chinese foreign policy and non-traditional security. Her current book project, "China’s Risk China’s Risk: Oil, Water, Food and Regional Security" (forthcoming Columbia University Press, 2016), addresses the security and foreign policy consequences for the Asia-Pacific region of oil, water and food risks in China. Professor Wishnick also writes about great power relations in East Asia and is working on several articles about contemporary Sino-Russian relations as well as a policy study on China’s interests and goals in the Arctic for the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.

Time & Location

May 20, 2015 | 04:00 PM c.t. - 06:00 PM

TOPOI Lecture Room
Hittorfstr. 18 (front building)
14195 Berlin