AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 439

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Session 439: China and the World II

Tales of a Green Dragon: Indonesian Construction of the Intimate Relation between China and Islam
Johanes Herlijanto, Macquarie University, Australia

Since the turn of the century, Indonesians have begun to regard that there is an intimate relationship between China and Islam, the religion of the majority of the Indonesian people. Narratives that emphasize the role of the Chinese Muslims in introducing Islam to the Indonesians in the past are currently widespread. Among many Indonesians, the Hadith that encourages the Muslims to seek the knowledge as far as China is now widely mentioned and most likely to be understood literally. In addition, there are some Muslim Indonesians who consider the model of society that one can find in China today more reflecting Islamic values than the Indonesian society. The above tendency to regard China and Islam as two closely related entities is not only a new phenomenon, but is also in conflict with the previous negative attitudes of the Indonesians toward the Chinese in general. This attitude could be seen particularly from the way they had treated the Chinese Indonesians. For several decades, many Muslim Indonesians had portrayed the Chinese as pork eating infidels who believed in superstition, and therefore were completely different from themselves. The anti Chinese riots, that repeatedly took place, although might have economic or political motives, were often conducted in the name of Islam. Therefore, when today many Indonesians tend to depict the closeness between China and Islam, a question of why and how this depiction has been constructed will be a significant question to ask. It is this question that this paper seeks to investigate and answer.

What Sino-Brazilian relations tell us about the ?Rise of the Rest?
Tom Narins, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

While China and Brazil today are operating in a hegemonic world system/marketplace society shaped by the United States, the Chinese-Brazilian relationship may offer interesting possibilities for ways in which the future international system may be comprised of more multi-polar relationships. In such relationships the economic and political centers of gravity in the international system would reside beyond the boundaries of the United States. This essay suggests possible ways in which the Chinese-Brazilian relationship might facilitate this shift away from the current world order. To do this, a focus on these two countries? similarities and opportunities for collaboration in agriculture, aviation and space systems will be addressed.

China-Brazil Relations: from cooperation to competition?
Danielly Ramos-Becard, Independent Scholar, Brazil

This paper deals with the relations between Brazil and China during the XXI century. Based on the constructivist theory of the international relations, in the first part of the paper the main characteristics of the phase of gestation and official establishment of the diplomatic relations (1960-1974), as well as of the phase of institutionalization of the bilateral relations (1974-1990) are briefly summarized. In the second part of the paper the last decade of the XX century and the first decade of the XXI century, referring to the challenges overcome and the amplification of relations are studied. In one hand, we present the hypothesis that after thirty five years of official bilateral relations, Brazil and China had consolidated a partnership based on essentially positive and productive relations in several areas. The political-diplomatic dialogue between Brazil and China were stabilized and the commercial relations had acquired rhythm and amplitude. In the field of bilateral cooperation, a higher level of scientific and technological development was reached. In the other hand, we also work with the argument that persistent asymmetric aspects present in the bilateral relation, linked with production and export of Brazilian commodities, favoring Chinese interests, may put in danger not only the Sino-Brazilian strategic relations, but also the Brazilian development project. In this sense, this paper aims to presents the most recent policies that have been implemented by those countries in order to balance the gains in this bilateral relation.