Events

China’s Belt and Road in the South Pacific: A Japanese perspective on threats and opportunities for the West

Summary

How should nations like Australia and Japan respond to increasing Chinese aid in the South Pacific?

Start Date

22nd Aug 2019 6:00pm

End Date

22nd Aug 2019 7:30pm

Venue

Law Lecture Theatre 1, Grosvenor Crescent, Sandy Bay Campus

RSVP / Contact Information

Enquiries: E. UTAS.Events@utas.edu.au, T. 6226 2521

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South Pacific nations increasingly find themselves stuck between China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the alternative Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) promoted by nations including Australia.

China’s rise has profound economic and strategic effects globally. In the South Pacific, the dominance of traditional aid powers Australia and Japan has been challenged by the growing share and influence of Chinese aid to the region. The large volume of infrastructure loans from China has raised international concerns about debt traps and political subjugation of the small island states to Beijing’s strategic objectives. Strategic discussions among the revived “Quad” members – Australia, the US, Japan and India - in response have resulted in coordinated economic assistance to the region to offer alternatives to Chinese aid. Ongoing coordination between Australia and Japan entails a possible revision of their aid principles. In this talk, Professor Yoichiro Sato will review Japan’s traditional aid principles and the current Chinese approach in light of Western criticism and make an argument for coordinated aid principles for Australia and Japan.

About the speaker

PhotoProfessor Yoichiro Sato holds a BA (Law) from Keio University, MA (International Studies) from the University of South Carolina, and PhD (Political Science) from the University of Hawaii. He is a professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan. Previously, he taught at multiple tertiary and governmental institutions including the US Department of Defense’s Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Auckland University and the University of Hawaii.

His major works include The Rise of China and International Security (co-edited with Kevin Cooney, Routledge, 2008), The US-Japan Security Alliance (co-edited with Takashi Inoguchi and G. John Ikenberry, Palgrave, 2011), US Engagement in the Asia Pacific (co-edited with See Seng Tang, Cambria, 2015), and Re-rising Japan: Its Strategic Power in International Relations (co-edited with Hidekazu Sakai, Peter Lang, 2017). Professor Sato has appeared in various international media, including Time, Newsweek, USA Today, National Public Radio, Voice of America, Agence France-Presse, Al Jazeera, Radio Australia, Bloomberg, MSNBC, Nikkei Asian Review, Japan Times, and TVNZ.

Refreshments from 5.30pm.

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