China's Peripheral (Neighboring) Diplomacy to Build an Asia-Pacific Dream 中国的周边外交-―构建亚太梦

12th Annual East Asia Security Symposium: Conference
China Foreign Affairs University, Beijing
26 June 2015

The 2015 conference – China's Peripheral or Neighboring Diplomacy to Build an Asia-Pacific Dream – will focus on new research in fields such as diplomacy, history, international conflict management, global political economy, international relations, peace studies and strategic theory. Participants in this ongoing series of conferences represent numerous disciplines, and often employ inter-disciplinary methods in developing their research.

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 Bond University Press has published the book Chinese Engagements: Regional Issues with Global Implications (Hardcopy and Kindle Version). The book China's Strategic Priorities is to be published by Routledge Press. 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$200 conference fee. Applicants will be notified of acceptance within two weeks of abstract submission.

Conference Theme: China's Peripheral or Neighboring Diplomacy to Build an Asia-Pacific Dream 中国的周边外交-―构建亚太梦

The People's Republic of China under President Xi Jinping is prioritising its Peripheral/Neighboring Diplomacy with Asia over the 'new model of great power relations' ('new type of Major Country Relations') with the United States of America (US). Peripheral or Neighboring Diplomacy is a relatively new development of Chinese foreign policy, and seeks to take the 'China Dream' beyond its borders to become an 'Asia-Pacific Dream' in which China seeks to build a 'Community of Common Destiny' within East Asia, and with a focus on Southeast Asia in particular.


The objective is for China to emerge as a 'centre of gravity' in which regional integration would see East Asian states futures become more closely tied to the success of China's return to Great Power status. Aspects of Peripheral or Neighboring Diplomacy have seen China seeking to build stronger trade links and infrastructure through the 'one belt and one road' concept – the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – as well as other proposed ideas including the community of co-destiny, the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and an expanding role for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia.

These actions will build regional integration between Asia and China, and tie the states in the region more closely to China. In turn, it may result in a diminution of the traditional US-led 'hub and spokes' security arrangements, and a declining or reduced role for the US in East Asia, as China takes on a more central role. In effect, is China seeking to build a new regional security architecture that is China-centric rather than US-centric? That would be seen as reshaping the security order, and challenging the established status-quo in Asia.

How will the region react to Chinese Peripheral (Neighboring) Diplomacy and the underlying strategic ambitions that are implied by it? China's attempts to build a 'Community of Common Destiny' across Asia may push the US out, and this is may not occur without some states (notably the US and Japan) seeking to resist such efforts. Which states in Southeast Asia might resist China's efforts to dominate in the region? Which might choose to 'bandwagon with Beijing'?

How might major external powers (besides the US) – India, Russia – and 'middle powers' like Australia and South Korea respond? What are the political, economic, security and military dimensions to what is emerging as a strategic contest to 'win the hearts and minds and wallets' of East Asia? Are China's goals as suggested in ideas like a Community of Common Destiny achievable in a manner that does not undermine US interests, presence or influence (a 'win win' approach) or will a 'zero-sum' mindset emerge on both sides? How do perceptions of US strategic decline play into this issue? How does China's strategic culture and history, and its concerns over containment influence their thinking?

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 attentions into the Indian Ocean; new visions of bilateral, regional or multilateral relations; 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 2015 theme – China's Peripheral or Neighboring Diplomacy to Build an Asia-Pacific Dream – 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!

For more information:
Twitter @EASCentre

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