China’s power in economic, political, military and cultural terms is mounting. In our contemporary world, this rise in China’s influence has been phenomenal. However, the extent, of its actual impact on Asian countries and societies remain subject to scholarly and practitioner debate. To understand the significance of China’s ascendancy, some would argue, there is a need for concise and accurate analysis of its political, economic, and military engagement, as well as its proclaimed intentions. Tools to conduct such studies on the power and influence of China are, according to some scholars, still missing, and at best, insufficient.
Regardless, what matters is how “actors” (broadly defined to include policy-makers, business people, elites, intellectuals, general public) in different Asian countries perceive, interpret and respond to China’s engagement and use of power. Obviously, some embrace China, while others reject it outright; in addition, there are significant bystanders neither embracing nor rejecting. In any case, how do these Asian actors rationalize their positions? How do they act out their stance towards China? These questions are critical because – voluntarily or involuntarily – many societal actors assumed to have played a role in making their communities, societies and/or countries become more sinicized, de-sinicized or re-sinicized than before. If this assumption holds, are these actors collaborators or competitors of China? In what ways, and how, have they enabled or disabled the sinicization, de-sinicization and re-sinicization?
The conference runs from 10 to 11 June. Prior to the conference is a two day PhD course (8-9 June, see separate announcement). Participants in the PhD course are expected to also take part in the conference (with or without a paper presentation).
- William A. Callahan, London School of Economics
- Camilla T. N. Sørensen, Royal Danish Defence College
- Mette Halskov Hansen, University of Oslo