AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 471

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Session 471: East Asian Relations with Ibero-America: Taking Stock of the Decade

Organizer: Gonzalo S. Paz, George Washington University, USA

Discussant: Sergio Ley, Independent Scholar, Mexico

“East Asian Relations with Ibero-America: taking stock of the decade” The recently concluded decade has been one of an amazing growth of economic interaction between both regions. We propose to take stock of these relationships, with emphasis in the economic, political, and cultural aspects. The main purpose of the panel is to explore the relationships in the period 2000-2010 between several East Asia countries or territories –China, the Koreas, Japan, and also Taiwan- and some of Ibero-America –in this case, Spain and Latin American and Caribbean countries-. In order to do this there will be presentations on several instances of these relationships: on China-Spain relations; the Koreas-Spain; Japan-Latin America; Taiwan-Latin America and China-Latin America. The common historical and cultural roots of each region, as well as the obvious differences between the countries makes the panel an attractive opportunity for probing similarities and differences in the relationships. We are going to look for cases and perspectives for triangulation and interactions in which Spain, Latin America and Any or some of the East Asia countries are taking part, from the point of view of international security, international political economy, and sociology. Due to the focus on bilateral relationships (country-to-country; country-to-region), a comparative perspective will be predominant. Also, the case approach will be use to empirically ground the theoretical discussion about birregionalism and transnationalism. Some of the relevant questions that we are going to explore are: Which are the drivers of the relationships? Which is the background and which are the current trends? How the United states have reacted to China-Latin America relations?

The Relations Between China and Spain: Identities, Ideas and Societies
Pedro San Gines, University of Granada, Spain

In the last decade or so, China’s relations with Spain, a major economic and cultural European power, have blossomed. In part, these changes are fueled by the rise of China’s economy in the last 30 years, and the also remarkable performance of Spain’s economy (at least until the beginning of the international financial crisis in 2008). Yet, it major trends have been scarcely analyzed, not to say compared with that of the most important Latin American countries. The paper will survey the current state of China relations with Spain, from political, economic, educational and cultural perspectives, with an emphasis in these last two spheres. Particular attention will be brought to the current academically fashion concept of soft power, and it role in public (cultural) diplomacy and the wide bilateral relationship, which are even more neglected areas of scientific research. Social scientists have posited long ago that identity and self image have a substantial impact on bilateral relations. In this regards, the evolution of Chinese traditional thinking and ideas, the current status of the ideology promoted by the ruling Chinese communist party, as well as of the soc-call revival of Confucianism and nationalism deserves a detail review. In a parallel way, the deep changes in the political, economic, societal and cultural landscapes in Spain, affects the popular and elite views towards China. The development of new institutions that connects directly both societies –such as the Confucius Institute and the Instituto Cervantes- may be bridging cultural gaps and are creating new channels of communication, educational exchanges, and promoting a broad, rich and diverse cultural dialogue. As a conclusion, I would like to propose several issues for the future research agenda, as well as tracing some parallelisms and noting certain probable differences with the Latin America cases.

An Assessment of the Koreas Relations with Spain, 2000-2010
Alfonso Ojeda, Independent Scholar, Spain

The main goal of this paper is to survey the current state of the relationship between Spain and South Korea (Republic of Korea- ROK) and North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea-DPRK). It will also offer some background analysis of the history and the evolution of the relationship, in the political, economic, and cultural realms. Particular attention will be devoted to the issue of the diplomatic recognition and the establishment of official relations between the DPRK and Spain, in the context of the parallel process done by most countries of the European Union. Due to the density of links and exchanges the relationship between South Korea and Spain will be explored in detail, at several levels: the expansion of economic ties, in production, trade and investments, and the actions of both public and private sectors; the political dialogue and coordination; the role of educational exchange –specially at the university level- and culture; the learning of both Korean and Spanish. One issue of growing interest in recent years is which kind of role the Diasporas are playing in the relationship. Finally the paper will consider these relationships in the broader context of the European Union’s foreign policy towards the Korean peninsula and the Koreas relationship with Latin America, an area of the world that shares history and language with Spain, looking for possible cases of triangulation.

Japan Relations with Latin America: The Last Decade
Akio Hosono, Independent Scholar, Japan

Which is the current state of the Japan-Latin America relationship? During the 1960s and 1970s, there was an expectation in some corners of Latin America that Japan would be a very important partner in the process of economic development, as a model, as a source of capital, knowledge and markets. In the 1980s the prominence of Japan was such that in the United States some forecasted the Japan would become the next strategic rival of the USA. The “Lost Decade” in Latin America (the 1980s), with the debt crisis and latter, that bad decade of Japan (the 1990s) was a serious blow to the hope for a closer partnership. The rise and demise of the Washington Consensus did not produce a clear-cut change in the relationship. First South Korea, and latter China, become very attractive for the region as a prefer choices for transpacific partnerships; meanwhile Japan remain active but not without competition. The paper explores these relationships which were also a benchmark for other Asian countries in their relationships with the region –South Korea, China-. More specifically explores the idea of two possible competing development models, the Japanese and the Chinese (the so-called “Beijing Consensus”), as a source of inspiration for Latin American policymakers in their search for ideas for their own policy designs. It will also provide some ideas of the uniqueness of Japan contribution to Latin America, and the perspectives for cooperation for development in coming years.

Taiwan in Latin America and Caribbean Region in the 21st Century
Chung-chian Teng , National Chengchi University, USA

Immediate after Taiwan’s President Ma assuming the office, new rapprochement strategy toward Mainland China has been forwarded and brought about dramatic changes. The thaw of cross-strait relations has already brought changes in the area of Taiwan’s external relations with Latin America as well as Caribbean Region. The ‘diplomatic truce’ and ‘flexible diplomacy’ are the most visible ones and the aim of this policy is to stop using ‘checkbook diplomacy’. At this moment, China and Taiwan have already reached a tacit consensus to give up the application of checkbook diplomacy. Entering into 21st century, China has been expanding its activities and influence in Latin America, at least, for the purpose of acquiring foodstuff and natural resources, not to mention its role in capital provision. On the other hand, a third of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies are located in this region. It is really a test for both sides of Taiwan Strait. In other word, Taiwan’s diplomatic relationship with Latin American nations is the test ground for the effectiveness and success of ‘flexible diplomacy’. In this study, I’m going to examine how Taiwan makes its policy and steers its foreign policy behavior in Latin America as well as Caribbean Region to protect its national interest. Furthermore, I’d like to explore how Taiwanese foreign service circle takes adaptive measures to respond the rapid change external changes and to deal with the requests from its diplomatic alliances.

China, Latin American and Caribbean Relations: A Preliminary Balance of the First Ten Years of the Century
Gonzalo S. Paz, George Washington University, USA

The last decade has been one of the most intense in the relationship between China and Latin America since the times of the Manila Galleon, and certainly the economically most significant of at least the last two hundred years. This paper is a first attempt to take stock of the relationship of China with the region and, at a more disaggregate level, to point to major trends observable in the bilateral relationship with significant countries: Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Perú, Chile and Argentina. It will also trace USA’s reactions to Chinese activities in an area of the world that Washington’s considered its own sphere of interest at least since the time of the Monroe Doctrine (1823). China’s is now the number one or two most important trade partner of most Latin American’s countries. This is, of course, in an important part, the result of the rise of China as a global economic powerhouse. More specifically, the demand of imported raw materials and commodities that once were core exports products in China (i.e. oil, iron, soybeans, etc). is producing important effects in the region. Investment has been lagging but it is beginning to become important for certain countries. A detailed account of the still limited political and security engagement of China, and the possibilities in the near future will be provided as a conclusion.