EASSC Publications


Water and Regional Security in Asia: Challenges for China

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper


The management of water risks poses many challenges to China’s conception of harmonious regionalism in Asia and to the region-wide development fundamental to the unfolding of a Pacific Century. China faces many hard choices as its own water, food security and energy goals often conflict, but as an upstream state sharing river resources with most of its neighbors, China’s water usage and hydropower development also have important consequences for regional security and foreign policy. River management is poorly institutionalized in Asia, however, and China has preferred to address water issues bilaterally. Using Ulrich Beck’s concept of social risk, this paper looks at the domestic sources of China’s approach to managing water risks and their foreign policy and security consequences. The paper highlights the emergence of security dilemmas in China’s approach to water risk management and their impact on regional security and China’s foreign relations with Asian neighbors.

Journal, Book or Conference Title

East Asia Security Symposium and Conference 东亚安全座谈谈论会

Publication Details

Author Information: Elizabeth Wishnick is an Adjunct Associate Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University and an Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University. Her current book project, China as a Risk Society, examines how transnational problems shape Chinese foreign relations with neighboring states and involve Chinese society in foreign policy. She is the author of numerous studies on great power relations and regional development in Asia, including Russia, China, and the U.S. in Central Asia: Competition and Cooperation in the Shadow of the Georgian Crisis and Mending Fences: The Evolution of Moscow's China Policy from Brezhnev to Yeltsin. Dr. Wishnick received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University, and a B.A. from Barnard College. She speaks Chinese, Russian and French.

WISHNICK, E 2012, 'There Goes the Neighborhood: Afghanistan's Challenges to China's Regional Security Goals', Brown Journal Of World Affairs, 19, 1, pp. 83-100, Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost.

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