China, Japan and Regional Leadership in East Asia
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China, Japan and Regional Leadership in East Asia

Edited by Christopher M. Dent

This book considers themes, evidence and ideas relating to the prospects for regional leadership in East Asia, with particular reference to China and Japan assuming ‘regional leader actor’ roles. Key issues discussed by the list of distinguished contributors include: • the extent to which there is an East Asian region to lead • China–Japan relations • different aspects of Japan and China’s positions in the East Asia region • how the seemingly inexorable rise of China is being addressed within the region • how China and Japan have explored paths of regional leadership through certain regional and multilateral organisations and frameworks • the position of certain ‘intermediary powers’ (i.e. the United States and Korea) with regards to regional leadership diplomacy in East Asia. Invaluably, the concluding chapter brings together the main findings of the book and presents new analytical approaches for studying the nature of, and prospects for leadership in East Asia.
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Chapter 8: Who’s Leading Who in ASEAN–China Relations? Community-Building versus Pax Sinica in the Management of Regional Security

Joern Dosch


Joern Dosch 1. INTRODUCTION: SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVIST AND NEO-REALIST VIEWS ON REGIONAL ORDER-BUILDING ‘Everyone wants ASEAN to be in the driver’s seat of regional co-operation because ASEAN’s leadership is more acceptable in the region than China’s or Japan’s’. This remark by Valérie Niquet, the Director of the Asia Centre at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris,1 reflects the general perception that the key role in the search for, and maintenance of, multilateral arrangements in the region has been played by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ever since the organization took the initiative to apply its well-established model for regional security on a wider Asia Pacific basis in the early 1990s. ASEAN was founded in 1967 and is often referred to as the most successful regional cooperation scheme outside Europe. The ASEAN dialogue mechanism, a set of various forms of official and informal consultation, coordination and networking at different levels of decision-making worked effectively enough to produce peaceful conflict management. Perhaps the most valuable achievement of the ASEAN security model is that it has successfully managed to keep residual conflicts between the members (especially territorial disputes) from leading to armed confrontation. Recent developments suggest that the peace dividend of the so-called ASEAN way of regional cooperation might be successfully extended to relations between Southeast Asia and China. At least at first glance, empirical evidence seems to suggest that ASEAN has been successfully engaging China, thereby significantly contributing to...

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