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Economic statecraft, interdependence, and Sino- Japanese ‘rivalry’

  • Dr. Suzuki Shogo (University of Manchester)
Wednesday 1 December 2021
Leiden Lecture Series in Japanese Studies
Online via Zoom (link to the lecture below)

This lecture will be held via Zoom: click here for the link. 

China’s increasingly active economic diplomacy in recent years has often been deeply linked to its geostrategic interests. Japan is said to be watching this development with alarm. Analysts have often claimed that this has resulted in Sino-Japanese rivalry, where the Japanese see any gains made by China in zero-sum terms, and make concerted efforts to counter China’s growing influence. This article, however, is critical of such views. While ele- ments of rivalry may indeed be visible in some aspects of Sino-Japanese rela- tions, it would be premature to apply this perspective to economic statecraft, which is inherently multifaceted. This article claims that too much attention has been paid to the strategic aspects of Chinese economic statecraft at the expense of economic/commercial ones that could foster cooperative relations between Beijing and Tokyo. It argues that Japan does not hold a monolithic view that Chinese diplomatic activities in the economic realm are an axio- matic threat to Japanese security interests, and it remains premature to say that Japan and China are ‘rivals’ in the realm of economic statecraft. Future analysis in this area needs to pay greater attention to the complicating effects that economic interdependence can have in strategic policies.

About Dr. Suzuki Shogo

Dr Suzuki joined the University of Manchester in 2007, after spending two years at the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge, where he was Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. His original academic background is in Chinese Studies, having studied Chinese language and history at the University of Leeds. He then completed a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations at the Australian National University in 2005.

Link to the lecture (Zoom)

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