China, Japan and EU’s Policy Learning in their Infrastructure Connectivity Engagements in Asia

Event: AAS-in-Asia 2020 Asia at the Crossroads: Solidarity through Scholarship
Date: 2 September 2020

China and Japan have been competing with each other over economic assistance, which is, according to both liberal and realist perspectives, a diplomatic tool to exercise the nation's influence over the recipient nation. Among other things, rapid railway system is an example of such a competition (e.g, Indonesian project), and for a recipient country, competition by the two economic giants may be preferable in terms of lowering cost of financing and procurement for improving its infrastructure. On the other hand, cooperation could achieve the common goal more effectively, especially when it comes to contributing to international public goods, or namely one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) as the cooperation could enhance the effectiveness of aid for these goals, which cannot be achieved without coordinated efforts by the donors and recipients. This roundtable and research are jointly organized by Chinese and Japanese Study Team (Peking University and Waseda University), and financed by Grants-In-Aid in Scientific Research (Kakenhi) of Japanese Government, and will share the work in progress of this international team. One of the major goal of this joint research is to study and propose pros and cons of competition and possibilities for cooperation with multidisciplinary approach (economics, political science, political sociology, and international political economy). The study team also includes researchers from public agencies (Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Japan International Cooperation Agency, for example) through our views do not represent any of these institutional views but this would make the nature of research more policy-focused and implementable. In this roundtable, we would like to provide an analytical framework - if and to what extent the China-Japan competition and cooperation is desirable for assisting Southeast Asian countries? Panelists with diverse backgrounds will address this question from their own perspectives, and are expected to actively interact with the audience.

Lukas Maximilian