神戸大学大学院国際協力研究科 復旦大学国際関係・公共事務学院 高麗大学校国際大学院

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Risk Management Seminar - “Political Economy of East Asian Regional Architecture: Managing the Political Risks Economically?”

  On January 15, 2014, the CAMPUS ASIA Program hosted a special lecture titled “Political Economy of East Asian Regional Architecture: Managing the Political Risks Economically?” by Professor Sung-Hoon Park from Korea University as part of a risk management seminar. Professor Park discussed increasing complexities in East Asian regional architecture, and the following is a summary of his comments.

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  The CAMPUS Asia Program has achieved many things so far and has great potential in the future.
  East Asia is a latecomer to the worldwide tendency toward regionalism, but there are increasing complexities in East Asian regional architecture, a long process characterized by divergent national strategies, lack of reconciliation, and the need to manage the interests of external stakeholders. Given the increasing complexities in East Asian regional architecture, the increase of bilateral Free Trade Agreements within East Asia, the increase of minilaterals (ASEAN+1, ASEAN+CER, TPP-4, and TPP-12), and the rising number of new regional initiatives are lamentable.
  The East Asian regional architecture and the sequence and division of labor should be analyzed. Some key issues for the future shape of regional architecture are agreeing on common values and a shared vision. This requires clarifying the membership issue, adopting a feasible roadmap, and resolving leadership issues. A brief roadmap to East Asian regionalism shows a focus on diversity versus unity, ASEAN-centrality, areas of cooperation, and modalities of cooperation; many such initiatives for East Asian regionalism have been proposed at various scopes.
  National strategies in the region differ among China, Japan, South Korea, and the USA. China is an emerging global power, comparable to the USA, and should move from being the world’s factory to being its market. Japan has been using East Asia as an instrument of dual-hedging for its own sustainability, but is facing external and internal dilemmas and has not responded very aggressively to East Asian regionalism. The USA has positioned itself as a fixed variable in East Asia and basically favors multilateral diplomacy, supporting global hegemony. In contrast, Korea has an unclear national strategy in pursuing aggressive bilateralism. This strategy is not yet at fruition, and Korea has recently been promoting a China/Japan/Korea community. In the overall context of East Asia regional architecture, Korea is keen to play the role of mediator between China and Japan, between Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, and between Asia-Pacific and Europe.
  After his talk, Professor Park took questions from the students present.
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