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Towards a Post-US Regional Security Order in East Asia?
27 November 2014, EIAS, Rue de la Loi 67, B-1040 Brussels, 16:30 - 19:00

There is a significant uncertainty about the US security commitment to East Asia over the next 15–20 years, underpinned by China’s economic and military rise. This uncertainty affects the present-day strategic perceptions and behaviour of East Asian countries, and of the US itself. Under its ‘rebalance to Asia’ policy, the Obama administration has undertaken various measures to assure its partners in Asia that the US has both the intention and capacity to remain engaged in the region. However, doubts about the sustainability of Washington’s security commitments do remain in East Asia.

This strategic uncertainty and the responses it triggers by regional players are shaping Asia’s evolving security order. What do these changing regional dynamics in Asia mean for Europe? The European Union strives to strengthen its involvement in East Asian security, not least by seeking a membership in several regional fora that have been established in recent years. Doubts about Washington’s future security role in East Asia may well influence the possibilities that are open to Brussels for achieving its objectives. Moreover, how the US responds to strategic uncertainty is likely to affect the transatlantic relations, as well as a possible US-EU cooperation on Asian security.

This seminar, held on occasion of the launch of the book Changing Security Dynamics in East Asia: A Post-US Regional Order in the Making? (Eds. Atanassova-Cornelis E., van der Putten F.-P., Palgrave, 2014), examined the impact of the present-day strategic uncertainty in Asia about the future US role on the perceptions and behaviour of the US, China and Asian countries. The seminar also looked at the implications of regional uncertainties for the evolving Asian order, and how this is relevant for the European Union’s approach to East Asian security and for the transatlantic partnership.


16:00-16:30 Registration

16:30-17:45 Session 1: Strategic Uncertainty and the Asian Security Order

Chair: Mr David Fouquet, Senior Associate, European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS)

Dr Elena Atanassova-Cornelis, University of Antwerp and Université Catholique de Louvain; and Dr Frans-Paul van der Putten, Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael: “A Post-US Regional Security Order in the Making?”

Prof Shi Yinhong, Renmin University of China, Beijing: “US-China Relations and the strategic uncertainty in East Asia”

Prof Nick Bisley, La Trobe University, Australia: “The Uncertain Future of Asia’s Security Order”

17:45-19:00 Session 2: The EU’s Role in Asia’s Evolving Regional Order

Chair: Dr Jing Men, InBev-Baillet Latour Professor of European Union - China Relations, College of Europe

Michael Reiterer, Senior Advisor, Asia and Pacific Department, European External Action Service (EEAS): “The EU’s Security Policies in East Asia”

Theresa Fallon, Senior Associate, European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS): “Europe’s Responses to Strategic Uncertainty in East Asia and Transatlantic Relations”

Roudtable Discussion

19:00 Reception

This event was jointly organised by the European Institute for Asian Studies, Madariaga-College of Europe Foundation and Clingendael Institute.

Download the Event Report 


What East Asian countries can learn from China’s economic policies?
1 December 2014, 12:30 - 14:00, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation

In his recent book “How Asia Works”, Joe Studwell analyses the development patterns of nine economies in East Asia.  He notes that until nations have achieved a certain technological self-sufficiency, they cannot possibly succeed with a neo-classical economic model. Moving away from the 10-step Washington consensus, Studwell proposes a three-step recipe for success, which he calls “the economics of learning”: land reform to maximise high-yield household farming, focus on export-orientated manufacturing to produce globally competitive goods, and strict capital control or financial repression. As these steps echo policies implemented by China over the last few decades, we can ask ourselves if a new development paradigm is emerging. How have development ideas and models spread back and forth from certain Asian countries to others? Is there a “Chinese lesson” for East Asian countries? Which kind of political leadership does this development model require? How are good governance and democratic governance articulated in this framework?

A lunch-debate with:  

Joe Studwell, journalist, public speaker and author of “How Asia Works”

- Jean-Christophe Defraigne, professor in Economics at the University of Saint-Louis Brussels and at the Louvain School of Management 

The debate was moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

The debate was held in English.



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