ASIAN WATERS: THE STRUGGLE OVER THE ASIA-PACIFIC AND THE STRATEGY OF CHINESE EXPANSION
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ASIAN WATERS: THE STRUGGLE OVER THE ASIA-PACIFIC AND THE STRATEGY OF CHINESE EXPANSION
27 June @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pmFree
SPEAKERS: Humphrey Hawksley, author of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion ; Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow with the Asia Programme of Chatham House and Dr Euan Graham, Director, International Security Programme at the Lowy Institute
Few territories are as hotly contested as the western Pacific Ocean. Across the 1.5 million square mile expanse of the East and South China Sea, six countries lay overlapping claims that date back centuries.
China, Vietnam, Korea and Indonesia assert their right to trade routes, deploying military garrisons to defend disputed territories while Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines resist their expansion. These conditions produce an unstable cocktail of competing interests and international tensions poised for conflict.
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event with Humphrey Hawksley author of Asian Waters who will highlight areas of regional tension emerging from China’s rise and conclude on how best the challenges can be met. Following his remarks, Dr Bill Hayton, associate fellow at Chatham House , will give some remarks on the issue of the South China Sea and act as a discussant for Hawksley’s main points.
Signed copies of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion will be on sale after the event.
Humphrey Hawksley is an award winning reporter and best-selling author whose work for the BBC has taken him all over the world with postings in Beijing, Colombo, Delhi, Hong Kong and Manila. He is the author of an acclaimed ‘Future History’ series that explores world conflict with Third World War, Dragon Fire and Dragon Strike that was nominated for the Royal United Services Institute annual military literature prize. His television documentaries include The Curse of Gold and Bitter Sweet examining human rights abuse in global trade; Aid Under Scrutiny on the failures of international development; and Danger: Democracy at Work on the risks of bringing Western-style democracy too quickly to some societies.
Bill Hayton is an Associate Fellow with the Asia Programme of Chatham House. He is the author of ‘The South China Sea: the struggle for power in Asia’ and ‘Vietnam: rising dragon’. Bill has worked for the BBC since 1998 and currently works for BBC World News television in London. He was the BBC’s reporter in Vietnam In 2006-07 and spent 2013 embedded with Myanmar’s state broadcaster working on media reform. He has given presentations about South China Sea and Southeast Asian issues for think-tanks and government institutions in the UK, US, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and elsewhere. His written work has been published in The Economist, the South China Morning Post, The Diplomat and the National Interest, among others. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Dr Euan Graham, Director, International Security Programme at the Lowy Institute. Euan has been a close observer of East Asian security affairs for more than twenty years, in academia, the private sector, and for the British Government. Euan joined the Institute from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore where he was a Senior Fellow specialising in maritime issues. Prior to this he was a research analyst in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and served as Chargé d’Affaires at the British Embassy in Pyongyang.
Euan’s research interests include Australian defence policy, maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas, nuclear proliferation, the US rebalance to Asia and defence diplomacy. His book Japan’s Sea Lane Security 1940–2004: A Matter of Life and Death? (Routledge) was the first comprehensive English-language analysis on this subject. Euan obtained his PhD from the Australian National University in 2003. He remains an Associate Fellow at the UK Royal United Services Institute.
James Rogers is a founding member of the Henry Jackson Society and is the Director of our Global Britain Programme. James holds expertise in British grand strategy, European geopolitics and Baltic security, as well as European influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Formerly, he held a number of positions at the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia. There he was Acting Dean (2016), Director of the Department of Political and Strategic Studies (2015-17) and Lecturer in International Relations (2012-15). James has also worked at the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris, firstly as a Visiting Fellow (2008) and then as an Associate Fellow (2013) – latterly as lead rapporteur for a research project commissioned by the European Union Military Committee.
On the 27th of June the Henry Jackson Society had the pleasure of hosting Humphrey Hawksley, BBC foreign correspondent and author of the book Asian Waters: The Struggle over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion, Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow with the Asia Programme of Chatham House, and Dr Euan Graham, Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute. The event was chaired by HJS’s Global Britain Programme director, James Rogers. Together the panellists lead an insightful discussion about Mr. Hawksley’s book.
Mr. Hawksley opened the discussion by talking about the title of the book. He explained that in the United States the book is titled Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the South China Sea. Elsewhere it is the titled Asian Water: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and The Strategy of Chinese Expansion because it would not sell in Asia otherwise. Mr. Hawksley said the change made the book better because the South China Sea is not China’s sea rather it is a host of country’s Sea.
The Spratly Islands are contested by multiple countries in the Asia Pacific, but are now defacto-ly controlled by China. The Scarborough islands are inside the Philippines’ maritime boundaries, but are controlled by China. The Paracel islands are inside Vietnam’s borders, but were taken by force from China. The Dongsha islands are within Taiwan’s borders, but since China does not recognize Taiwan they also do not recognize their claim on the islands. The rest of the world is also worried because if China can get away with this, where else can they get away with these tactics? The main obsession over the Asia Pacific is that it sets a precedent for future Chinese expansion.
Bill Hayton followed Humphrey Hawksley by explaining that the Chinese claim to the South China Sea is illogical. The problem is how can we explain to the Chinese people that these claims are illogical because the common practice in China is distrust of the West. Another problem is the infighting within the countries in the South China Sea. If they cannot settle their own territorial disputes within the regions, then how are they supposed to form a common front to combat China influence in the region?
Dr Euan Graham began by emphasizing Hawksley’s point that conflict in the South China Sea is about precedence. The goal of Beijing is to change the status quo without armed conflict. They do so through using coercive diplomacy against the weaker powers in the region. It seemed as if all panellists agreed on the point raised by Dr Graham that China is looking to continually chip away at territory within the Asia Pacific.
We were delighted to host the three distinguished guests. To close Bill Hayton and Dr Euan Graham gave praise to Humphrey Hawksley’s book Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion.
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