News and Events

Understanding 21st Century China

Posted: 2014-04-03
Category: Events
From left: Former President Fidel Ramos, Dr. Alfredo Pascual, Prof. Marwyn Samuels, Mr. Liping Zheng, Mr. Wilson Lee Flores, Mr. Chito Sta. Romana, Dr. Alfonso Siy.

On April 2, 2014, the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Policy Center, together with the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Asia Society, Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Association of the Philippines, Tufts Fletcher School Alumni Association Philippines and Ramos Peace and Development Foundation, Inc. hosted a forum entitled "Understanding 21st Century China: All Under Heaven?" at the Fuller Hall, Asian Institute of Management.

The forum centered on policy discussions with Prof. Emeritus Marwyn Samuels of Syracuse University, Dr. Liping Zheng of the Asian Development Bank, and Former ABC News Beijing Bureau Chief Mr. Chito Sta. Romana. It sought to deepen understanding of the dynamics underlying the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China given the latter's rapidly evolving socioeconomic and geopolitical landscape. The speakers advised a stance of "maximum tolerance and restraint" on the part of the Philippines in order to improve already strained relations between the countries. China's cultural heritage and legacy as a former imperial power was touched upon to sged light on China's perspective on the dispute. A full-scale military confrontation was said to be unlikely as unilateral action by the Chinese would carry a high political price and would likely garner the censure of the international community. It was moreover raised that China's strategy has primarily been one of deterrence, of projecting military might while avoiding escalation to high-level conflict.

The event was timely given the recent stand-off between the two countries over the disputed Ayungin Shoal and the Philippines' subsequent filing of a 4000-page document before the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration in order to advance its territorial claims. The issue is also expected to evolve given the expected negotiations between Manila and Washington to increase US military presence in the Philippines.

The event is part of a series of forums seeking to synthesize and facilitate sharing of information and advance discussion with experts and scholars on the relevant issues of the day. This is meant to be a platform through which policymakers can engage scholars, experts and other stakeholders in an evidence-based manner. A public forum entitled "US, China and ASEAN: The Evolving Realities in the West Philippine Sea", was held last October 4, 2013 which touched on the increasing prominence of China in international affairs and the pivot of the United States to the Asia-Pacific region.


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