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Forecasting Finlandization: How will Xi’s China seek to revise East Asia’s regional order?

Tuesday 20 June 2023

This European Initiative for Security Studies hybrid and online Seminar will discuss Dr. Friso Stevens' forthcoming article Forecasting Finlandization: How will Xi’s China seek to revise East Asia’s regional order?, exploring Xi Jinping's foreign policy doctrine and its implications for China-US security relations. An initial presentation from the author will be followed by a discussion with Xiaoyu Pu, Ph.D. (University of Nevada) and Andrew Chubb, Ph.D. (Lancaster University), chaired by Dr. Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Ph.D. (University of Helsinki).


Contrasting neorealist assumptions, this article argues that China’s rise in East Asia will be different based on its particular socio-historic, ideational, and political characteristics. The leadership image is used to analyze how Xi Jinping’s “Community of Common Destiny” and “Thought on Diplomacy” are designed to revise the existing US-led liberal order in East Asia. In doing so, the article evaluates Deutsch and Singer’s definition of a stable system, and the more narrow ICJ non-intervention definition of a viable one, against Chinese foreign policy in the New Era. The article asserts that China is not pursuing the hegemonic path Western imperial powers chose in the past, trying to expand its physical territory. Rather, China wants to restore the (maritime) territories claimed by the Republicans and regain the “neo-imperial” influence over regional states it had before 1842. Employing equally dissimilar means, China will try to achieve its aims by adopting strong diplomatic rhetoric and practice, furthering its parallel institutional designs, and, above all, by creating economic dependencies that it can leverage until it is militarily strong enough to push the US out of Asia.

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