The 2017 theme will be announced early 2017

13th Annual East Asia Security Symposium: Conference
China Foreign Affairs University, Beijing
1 July 2016

Concentrations of Power: Geopolitical Security and Economic Stability 权力集中:地缘政治安全与经济稳定

The 2016 conference will focus on new research in fields such as diplomacy, global political economy, history, international conflict management, international relations, peace studies and strategic studies. Participants in this ongoing series of conferences represent numerous disciplines, and often employ inter-disciplinary methods in developing their research.

For China and its neighbours the present is increasingly burdened by apprehension. Geopolitical security and economic stability have previously been built symbiotically; as complimentary, within a liberalising rules-based global system. East Asia’s stability however is seemingly threatened by divergent state goals and changed economic trajectories. What are the goals of regional states and are they incompatible? Is the Thucydides Trap as a concept too simplistic to describe the more complex security picture in Asia?


China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, for example, are being ventured, but are not unchallenged in practice or principal and may not be complimentary to its hitherto market economy. Does China risk creating the very outcome it seeks to avoid – a counter-balancing coalition of states that seek to hedge, dissuade or deter Chinese strategic power, and thus circumscribe China’s rise? The foreseen freedom of navigation exercises and the Philippines instigated case under the UNCLOS may be viewed as designed escalations of the use of power beyond the past cycles of unexpected crises and restoration of a status quo, or are they an entirely justified response to China’s nine dash line and island building?


Why is Japan revising its constitution? Why is the US maintaining military capacity in the ROK, and what are the ‘military capabilities needed for geopolitical security’? Are the rising military capabilities ‘needed’ for geopolitical security a threat to economic stability? It may be argued that these developments strengthen the established rules based international order, including the ‘hub and spokes’ security arrangements in Asia that has enabled the economic stability from which China has benefited, and which has enabled China’s rapid development.


Beyond the conference theme all paper proposals with a China focus are considered. Exemplar issues that may be deliberated include the overt extension of Chinese maritime capacity (into the Indian Ocean, to Africa and the Americas); new visions of bilateral, regional or multilateral relations such as the TPP or the AIIB; new fields of interaction across the playing fields, of for example, global economies, technology and even space; new theoretical concepts and critiques; the differing roles of great, middle or small powers; the pace, place and conceptions of development and democracy with regard to security, stability and other political and economic goods. Our 2016 theme – Concentrations of Power: Geopolitical Security and Economic Stability – looks to synthesize and generate multi-disciplinary reviews and analysis. What are your ideas? Share and publish them through the East Asia Security Symposium and Conference!

Peer Reviewed Research Output Opportunities

The conference offers participants two peer-reviewed research output opportunities.

  • Peer-Reviewed Conference Paper: Those participants wishing to have their conference paper peer-reviewed and published may request this in consultation with the conference directors and should do so prior to the conference. The East Asian Studies Center at China Foreign Affairs University regularly publishes peer reviewed papers as does the East Asia Security Centre's Peer-reviewed Publishing Site at Bond University. You may publish in English, Mandarin or both.
  • Book Chapter: From previous conference presentations Routledge has published the book China’s Strategic Priorities (2016). Bond University Press published Chinese Engagements: Regional Issues with Global Implications (2011). Both books have been co-edited by the directors of the conference Brett McCormick and Jonathan H. Ping. Our expectation is to continue compiling appropriately related papers for similar book publications.

Format and Eligibility

Conference presentations are ten minutes in length; all customary presentation facilities are provided. All registered participants in the East Asia Security Symposium are eligible to present papers. Non symposium participants are able to present but must submit an abstract (500 words) for review prior to the conference and pay a US$220 conference fee. Applicants will be notified of acceptance within two weeks of abstract submission.

For more information:
Twitter @EASCentre

Dr Brett McCormick - Director of Global Studies, University of New Haven (USA) 203-479-4988