- Governor Michael Dukakis – Co-Founder, Chairman, Boston Global Forum
- Joseph S. Nye, Jr. – Member of Board of Thinkers, Boston Global Forum; University Distinguished Service Professor; Former Dean, Harvard Kennedy School
- Michael H. Fuchs – Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategy and Multilateral Affairs, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State
- Bonnie S. Glaser – Senior Adviser for Asia, Freeman Chair in China Studies; Senior Associate, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Pacific Forum
- Professor Joseph S. Nye, Jr. – Member of Board of Thinkers, Boston Global Forum; University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University; Former Dean, Harvard Kennedy School
- The Hon. Kevin Rudd – Former Australian Prime Minister
Watch the full conference here:
GOV. DUKAKIS : The Boston Global Forum is something that was the brainchild of the wonderful Tuan Nguyen founder of the VietNamNet, who now spends a good deal of his time in Boston and in Cambridge he returns to Vietnam for several months every year. And it was his idea to create the Boston Global Forum to tap into the rich intellectual and policy resources that we have here in Boston and at the same time invite people from all over the world to participate in what we were doing, through online conferences and one of those conferences is the one we’re having this evening.
We decided that what we would do was to focus on one important international issue every year and see if we could come up with some constructive solutions for that particular issue for that problem. We began our first year with the issue of occupational safety and health standards around the world after the tragedy in Bangladesh. This year we decided to focus on another very important topic: building a framework for peace and security in the Pacific.
I don’t have to tell any of you that the Pacific area these days is fraught with problems. At least a dozen countries arguing over who owns what island, serious concerns about the ambitions of some of those countries, and in some cases historic rivalries that go back centuries and certainly back to World War Two. And yet in many ways, in our view, the Pacific could be a model of how to create a region of the world in which nations come together, reason together, and create rules and institutions which will make it possible for them to solve their problems without resorting to arms or force.
So tonight with your cooperation and your participation and with the help of a pretty distinguished group of people, some of whom are with us here in Cambridge MA, some who will be talking to us from all over the globe. We’re gonna begin our discussion of this very important topic. How does the international community create a framework for peace and security in the Pacific? We’ll be having two more online conferences, one in November, one in December. We hope by the end of this year to have a series of recommendations which will help to lead in the direction that can help to patent.
And we’re gonna begin tonight with a panel, which will be followed by two other panels in which we will have people both here in Cambridge and around the globe participating though the modern miracle of online conferencing. We welcome you, we welcome your participation, your thoughts, and we hope you will be very much a part of what we think will be a real contribution to peace in the world and peace in the Pacific. We’re gonna begin our panel with an opening statement from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mike Fuchs who was responsible for the US approach to multilateralism and multilateral institutions who speaks to us tonight from Washington and we’re delighted to have him with us, Mike you’re on.
MICHAEL FUCHS: Thank you very much Gov. Dukakis and again let me thank you to start and others as well at Boston Global Forum for organizing this series of conversations which I think is obviously both very important and very timely with events going on in the region in recent months and years.
I wanted to start with the big picture, and again I will not go on too long I know there are a lot of great speakers and I see a lot of friendly faces around the computer screen here and so I know it will be a great discussion tonight with the three panels. So I thought what I would do is to start for a couple of minutes to give our perspective on the big picture in the region and some of the challenges we see the region as facing and what we believe is an essential piece of the framework that I think you’re talking about to ensure that the countries in the region and the US can figure out constructive solutions to problem solving. I think as you put it Gov. Dukakis.
First, we all know why this region is important. We all know why it matters not just what happens in the region but what happens beyond Asia and the Pacific. The economic growth, the dynamism, there are a lot of reasons why our engagement in the Pacific is important not just for the US, not just for the region, but for beyond. At the same time obviously I think that we’re all very clear in the understanding that as the economic dynamism in many ways has taken off in recent decades in the Asia Pacific at the same time we’ve seen a series of real serious challenges, some would say threats, rise as well and become more complex as this economic dynamism has taken off and as interdependence in the region has expanded. I think that the question put to everyone here today by the Boston Global Forum is How do we build, how do we construct (inaudible). How can the countries in the region come together and find an amicable way, a peaceful way to address these disputes.
The first thing that I would put out there and say is that It is that before getting to the framework pieces that, one piece of this framework that we think is absolutely central and our senior leadership in the US government as reiterated this point time again is the importance of US alliances in the region to regional peace, stability, and prosperity. These are long-standing alliances that we’re doing a lot of work right now and have over the last handful of years to strengthen because we believe they’re not just in our interest and not just in the interests of our allies but they’re in the interests of the entire region and for decades they’ve helped underpin regional peace and stability and prosperity and so that is one piece that we again continue to strengthen because we believe it is in everyone’s interest in upholding this framework that I think we all have an interest in constructing. Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture what a framework might look like the first thing I would say is that international law and norms provide much of the context and substance I think for what we want to see in this region. We don’t have to go very far to look for some of the answers and frankly many of the countries of not all of them have already agreed to trying to figure out how do we resolve certain disputes, how do we address some of our problems they’re there, in international law and commonly accepted norms and standards. So that’s the first thing that I would say important for us to recognize when trying to figure out how do we most constructively address the disputes and the challenges and if they’re legitimate.
The second question I think is, how do you actually enforce and uphold international norms in the Asia-Pacific? Obviously this is a region that has a wide variety of different bilateral trilateral multilateral institutions and arrangements that do a wide variety of different things but does not have quite the same level of institutional maturity and just say some other regions, say Europe does with the EU and other organizations. So the question is what role can these multilateral institutions and arrangements play in upholding and enforcing international laws and norms. And that’s one of the questions I think that we try to think through and try to address our US government working in conjunction with Allies and partners in the region. There are two things I want to focus on very briefly are one the multilateral institutions and what role I think they can play and two the specific types of issues which I think they can help us in the region address our main challenges.
The first is the multilateral institutions and as I said there are a wide variety of institutions out there many of them centered on ASEAN out to the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit and then a wide variety of others. But also including economic institutions like APEC where we’ve invested time and energy trying to build up the capability, not just a leaders and foreign ministers and others to get into rooms together and hash out their problems with one another but again try to find a tangible problem-solving oriented solutions to the main challenges in the region and so I think that One at the first order of business for us at least and what we’ve been trying to do over last handful of years this administrations focus in the region is buildup these institutions. We need to strengthen them and their ability to enforce and uphold international laws and norms. To build up their ability to respond to crises and serious challenges when they arise that I think is our first task. Talk about it a longer term framework for peace and stability in the region I think multilateral institutions are going to play an instrumental role in that framework.
The second point I would make and the last one is giving a specific example of the type of issue that the multilateral institutions should be taking up and I think that the Maritime disputes in the South China Sea in particular I think are ripe for being addressed by these multilateral institutions. This is the sort of situation where you have multiple different claimants going at one another and pursuing their claims, sometimes in not peaceful ways, in ways that are provocative in ways that are concerning to one another and to the broader region as well in which bring with them the potential for destabilization or increasing tensions and incidents and potential conflict and so one of the things that in recent years ASEAN in particular, and we have supported ASEAN in doing this as well is trying to find a multilateral solution to the tensions in the South China Sea and ASEAN’s and China’s discussions that are quite slow I would say but are still ongoing on how to finalize on how to come to a code of conduct for the South China Sea is a good example of the sort contribution that multilateral institutions can make I think to solving real tangible problems that we are faced with in the region.
I think that even though the solutions themselves may not be imminent and we may not be able to find the answer today or tomorrow or even next month these multilateral institutions are the place where these issues and solutions to these challenges need to be put on the table because frankly there are no other venues, there are no other places where you had everyone at the table coming together to address these sorts of issues. So this is the game in town is what I would say these are the places that we should do our best to empower. I know we’ve got a lot of other folks to get to and I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the discussion so thank you again Gov. Dukakis.
GOV. DUKAKIS: We are now gonna go to Bonnie Glaser who I think, is in some part of Asia. (inaudible) Thank you for joining us, she’s done some interesting writing on the subject- hope you had a chance to listen to Mike Fuchs- so, you’re on.
BONNIE GLASER: Thank you Gov. Dukakis you are fading in and out but hopefully you can all hear me. I would like to thank all the members of the Boston Global Forum for asking me to speak tonight and I will try to add very briefly to Michael Fuch’s remarks. I’ve been asked to assess the risk of (audio cut) for lowering tensions and averting crisis. Clearly we should be looking at the East China Sea and the South China Sea, there are some important differences but when comes to making recommendations of ways to lower tensions, I think that there are some commonalities. If we assess the risk of conflict or accident in the East China Sea we can see that since the government in Tokyo purchased three of the five islands in September of 2012 there’s been a real uptick in China’s patrols within not only the contiguous zone but also within the 12-mile territorial waters around the islands.
The risk of conflict in my view is relatively low between these law enforcement vessel, they’re operating in a relatively predictable, careful manner, although an incident could occur with the introduction of unpredictable factors such as fishing boats or activists trying to land on the islands. An accident I think is more worrisome where China and Japan have declared their overlapping air identification zones, air defense identification zones or ADIZ. A contingency certainly could draw in the United States, whether in the air or at sea, because of our treaty obligations to Japan under article 5 of the US-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty. Escalation is certainly possible even though I think neither Japan nor China nor the US would see benefits accruing from a military conflict.
Recently we’ve seen an increase in the (inaudible) by Japan and China in their ADIZ, sometimes involving fighters against fighters, not just intercepting surveillance planes and this of course in increasing the risk of accident, especially when the rules of engagement are not known and pilots lack experience and training. This is particularly true in the case of China. In the South China Sea the situation is much more complicated with of course six claimants. I see it as somewhat less dangerous except in the case of the direct US-China incident or confrontation. Of course only one of the claimants to the land features is a US treaty ally that is the Philippines. The US has not stated it’s treaty commitments quite as clearly as is the case in Japan but one could envisage a potential escalation, for example (inaudible) that they have on a rusting out ship back on Second Thomas Shoal in which the US has been in fact flying P-8s overhead and probably supplying some intelligence information to the Philippines.
So to turn to the question of what can be done, Michael Fuchs has already talked about the need for a code of conduct in the South China Sea, the discussions of course have been launched, and progress is very slow. I would emphasize that a CoC needs to be legally binding and it should have a dispute settlement mechanism. In the absence of those features I think it will look very much like the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties, so I think that ASEAN in particular, which engaged in these negotiations with China needs to ensure that this is a much more robust agreement than the original agreement in 2002.
There is also a need for something like a Code of Conduct in the East China Sea and that could be multilateral, it could include South Korea, it could include Taiwan but there is certainly a case agreed upon rules of the road both in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. In terms of very specific risk reduction measures, I’m sure you’re all aware that there was some progress between China and Japan in May of 2012 when they discussed the establishment of crisis communications, including a hotline. I do think the two nations should be encouraged to resume those talks and to expand them to include the establishment of safe intercept procedures, which is also of course an issue between the US and China as we need to establish safe intercept procedures as well. I wanted to mention the need for potential joint exploration schemes where possible, we’ve seen a few of those, most notably between Malaysia and Brunei it’s very difficult for us to engage in any kind of joint resource cooperation and exploration when there were these outstanding sovereignty disputes this is something that should be revisited as well.
Some people say that the resolution of the disputes is too hard and we should only work on managing them but I would like to endorse the need to think harder about resolutions. We’ve seen partial resolutions between China and Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin in 2004, Indonesia and the Philippines just a few weeks ago after 20 years of discussions, signed an agreement that delimits their EEZ’s. If all of the Southeast Asian claimants could resolve their maritime and territorial disputes that would put pressure on China to engage in this process.
So I think we should think more about that. In the South China Sea there is a very pressing need to what I call “Map the Area” that is, all claimants in the South China Sea should bring their claim in line with the UN convention on the law of the sea. This means China needs to resolve the ambiguity of its nine dashed line but there are other claimants that don’t have their claims in line with UNCLOS either. And then there needs to be an understanding on the status of every geographic features and the maritime zones to which it is entitled. Is it a rock? Is it an island? Or is it a low tide elevation? This could be done with the aid of an arbitral tribunal or a neutral third party that conducts a study of the various features. And this could help to define the areas that are disputed, areas that constitute high seas where freedom of navigation should be respected. And finally, my last point is, litigation really should not be a dirty word. I think when the Philippines initially took its case in January to the ITLOS tribunal many countries thought that this would be an act that increased tensions. Yet, here we are a year and a half later and many countries think that this is actually a good decision. The arbitral tribunal finds that it has jurisdiction on at least some of the points in some of the cases. We will see a ruling probably in late 2015 or early 2016.
The role of international legal institutions should not be ignored, they could play a very useful role. If the South China Sea claimants do not wish to submit their disputes to an international court of justice. Another option is to establish and impartial, regional tribunal as a neutral forum for deciding island territorial disputes. Of course in the case of Japan and China, the Japanese have said they’ve agreed to take their case to the international court of justice if China would do so as well. I think that there is a role for international arbitration, for litigation in addressing some of these disputes and so I would encourage that to be part of the toolbox that we’re using to do what our deputy assistant secretary talked about in promoting the adherence to and implementation of international law and international norms. Thank you very much Gov. Dukakis.
GOV. DUKAKIS: Thanks Bonnie. Why don’t we turn to Steve Bosworth who recently was the dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts and our ambassador to South Korea with Secretary Clinton and is now at the Belfer Center just around the corner at the Kennedy School? Steve, some thoughts and comments on what you’ve heard so far?
STEVE BOSWORTH: Well first of all this is a very interesting discussion and I commend those here for drawing together such an impressive group of people who actually know something about East Asia. Just a couple of observations:
First for me I think that the central question for the next generation is “How are China and the US going to be able to work out a long term relationship which is good with one another and good within the region? (inaudible) over the next 10 to 20 years. Our difficulty there of course is that we start with very different assumptions, the US and the Chinese. The Chinese for the last 150 years was a brief interruption (inaudible) the power within East Asia. For us as a nation we haven’t dealt with China as a strong power until just recently. So we each have somewhat distorted perceptions of the other and we’re gonna have to work those out. I think many of the issues we are going to be talking about for the next few months are at bottom issues of how the US and China relate to one another. How we are able to provide an atmosphere of political tranquility within which the economic progress which is already underway in East Asia can continue.
I would hope that we both can put more emphasis on the trade and investment aspects of our regional relationship. I think that the TPP as its known is one of the key ingredients for long-term stability in East Asia and for advancing our interests and the interests of other countries in the region. The Transpacific Partnership, excuse my use of a crippling acronym. It’s not really transpacific and it’s not really a partnership but it’s what we’re trying to build and I would hope that we could put in place in the relatively near future a TPP which includes China. At the moment China is not actively involved in the recognition and design of this. As we try to build regional infrastructure, institutional infrastructure, some of which the Dep. Ast. Sec has, outlined earlier all of which I think is very important. I would urge that we not lose sight of the fundamental importance of continued economic cooperation and integration. And in fact the markets of East Asia are already, if you look at it in terms of percentages, more highly integrated, one with the other than are (inaudible) but that’s because the private sectors in those countries have seen it to be in their interests to build these private production networks throughout the region. That’s a fundamental feature of emerging East Asia infrastructure.
So we do have a few other problems we’ll have to be concerned about, one of which is North Korea, we would have to devote a whole evening to that discussion but I think here too this is a very important test of the ability of the US and China to work together. Our interests fun mentally are quite similar. I think we could each learn a bit from each other on how to best handle the fundamental problem that North Korea poses. North Korea is not going to collapse; we can count on that, that’s no longer a reasonable premise for American foreign policy and North Korea is not going to suddenly decide that it doesn’t want nuclear weapons. I don’t think that’s a very realist premise. (inaudible) But remember North Korea is right at the heart of this entire region which is the most vibrant, vigorous, economic region in the world. North Korea is right at the heart, and essentially it’s a failed state. Its capacity to cause damage and instability throughout the region should not be underestimated. Thank you.
GOV. DUKAKIS: Steve let me ask you a question. Recently the Chinese President visited South Korea. There have been some interesting developments in the relationship with North Korea. What do you make of that?
STEVE BOSWORTH: I’m not surprised by it. China made a strategic decision in 1992 when it decided to recognize South Korea and build a relationship with it. China is now South Korea’s most important trade partner and North Korea does not really have statistical significance in China’s view of global and regional trade. But leadership hopes to convince China that its interests are best served witnessing a collapse of North Korea, which is, in a sense an unspoken objective, it has been for the last 25 years, of US policy. So, I think it’s no surprise that Xi Jinping went to Seoul; it’s a strong signal to South Koreans that his view of China’s long term interests is the same as that of his predecessor. But they’re not going to suddenly abandon North Korea and we can’t expect that we will.
AMBASSADOR ICHORO FUJISAKI:Excuse me, can I make a comment on the previous speaker? This is from Tokyo. Can I just make a short comment on what the previous speaker said?
GOV. DUKAKIS: I’d like you to hold it and I want to call in an old friend (inaudible) is with us. Professor Kosaku Dairokuno is with us.
PROF. KOSAKU DAIROKUNO: Thank you very much Gov. It has been a very interesting discussion about how to build in the Pacific an institution to solve the dispute in this region. It is true that we have several international courts and tribunals but actually these organizations really do not solve the problem especially when two sovereign powers do not agree about the administration of the islands. In that sense we have to set up some kind of regional organization or regional institution to talk about, in an amicable way, to solve those disputes. The thing is we can use ASEAN, ASEAN+ and APEC and we can take advantage of every opportunity to get the Chinese government in the discussion. What’s the critical factor, what will attract the Chinese government to participate? That’s my question. So within my time, ambassador Fujisaki has a few comments.
AMBASSADOR ICHORO FUJISAKI:Can I make a comment? Bonnie Glaser said we are ready to go to tribunal, that’s not true. On this island we have been saying it’s not a territorial issue, we don’t have an issue because it’s like some country coming around Hawaii and saying that this is our island. Now two things, we are talking about present and future, present two things are important. Try to be patient, not provocative. And this is based on the conventional wisdom that all the countries would not really like to have a war. The important thing is to avoid accidental war. Some people doubt if this conventional wisdom is right, seeing what’s happening in Ukraine, what’s happening in South (inaudible). It’s not only a Japan issue but it’s more of a global issue, a regional issue. That’s point one. We totally agree with what the previous speaker said that two things are important. One is to keep fortifying what we have already like the Japan-US alliance. This forum is important because we are discussing guidelines. As for the future what’s important is to try to see some international norm as you have rightly been discussing. Rules of order, international regulations and for that, two things are important. As Steve Bosworth said this is very important to come to an agreement on the TPP. Also it’s more important to have more substance in the code of conduct and from that point it’s a very critical time. Now my good colleague Mr. Kundo would like to maybe say a note to everything I’ve said. So can I pass onto him?
AMBASSADOR SEIICHI KONDO: Hi. I’m a retired diplomat and I run an institute in culture and diplomacy. I have two statements to make. One, what is worrisome is two out of five permanent members of the security council are challenging or seem to be challenging the status quo. We have to take a strong stance against those belligerents. Second, as we have said, try to mitigate or contain the military risks around the islands but also we have to continue to enhance the cooperative relationship where it is not in political or economic areas such as the environment, disaster prevention, disaster mitigation, tourism, and by involving experts in various fields to establish a cooperative and forward looking cooperative stance will help develop trust among the countries concerned. Thank you.
GOV. DUKAKIS: Now I want to go to Dr. Patrick M. Cronin who I believe is – Patrick where are you?
DR PATRICK CRONIN: Governor I’ve just returned from Malaysia and Indonesia where I was speaking about some of these issues, especially in the South China Sea. Well, let me add to the many good remarks that have already been made I agree with almost everything that’s been said. Let me give you the good news and bad news: the good news is that the Asia-Pacific region remains the enormous opportunity of the 21st-century. I think Ambassador Bosworth captured it well by talking about growing the American economic and trade expansion through the transpacific partnership in pursuing a deal with 12 countries but then expanding to make it the inclusive rules-based trading system with the Chinese that we all hope it will become.
The good news is that Asia-Pacific is not Ukraine it’s not Syria and Iraq and these tensions in the Maritime regions in the near seas if you will of China in both the East and the South China Seas, as Bonnie Glaser pointed out, except for accidents is not likely to lead to a shooting war but that doesn’t mean they’re not increasingly fraught with peril or they’re not important indeed they are important and Bonnie Glaser I think the read off a really good list of many ideas that can be acted upon so the question really is why haven’t some of these good ideas been seized why is there a political failure to capitalize on some of the thinking that he’s been expressed in many international conferences. That’s a tricky question, that’s a loaded question because everybody has a different perspective.
From my own perspective, we are dealing with an increasingly assertive China around it’s periphery this is to be justified as sensible from China’s perspective it is growing interest in has growing capabilities it has a history of being picked apart from his perspective so so in many ways you can rationalize it from a Chinese perspective but nonetheless I think it goes beyond the idea that Japan and nationalized three islands in 2012 for instance which as Bonnie Glaser pointed out no doubt that was a marker for growing Chinese assertiveness in the East China Sea.
But if you look at the whole periphery around China you can look at even where Xi Jinping as he lands in India they’ve got tents being pitched across the Indian Territory. In the South China Sea you have a deep-sea oil rig that had been unilaterally placed in disputed waters with Vietnam. You have the reclamation of submerged features to try to create artificial islands. You have the harassment of patrol and other aircraft in both the East and the South China Seas. All of these are, from my perspective, an indicator that China wants to have a greater say a greater influence over its near seas including rewriting the rules and this may be really that the problem here China’s not happy with the rules as they are. While that may be a legitimate point from China’s perspective the question for the international community and for the US and allies and friends is what what’s the right way to go about changing rules if you don’t like them and that’s really where the tension is as we don’t like in many ways the manner in which China is going about the rules.
So let’s take the Philippine arbitration case in the South China Sea which essentially is established for the signatories of United Nations convention on the laws of the Sea. That arbitral panel can rule in early 2016 that the UN conventional on the law of the Sean is a essentially at odds with the Chinese declaration of a 9 dashed line because it’s not based on contemporary international law and land features for instance.
Nonetheless we can’t do anything about it, there’s no enforcement mechanism. There’s nothing they could force China to change. So we’re in a quandary about how to persuade the Chinese so do we need to do? We obviously all need better engagement with the Chinese unfortunately that’s not been sufficient to date. Even in the US-China relationship as a senior official told me just a couple weeks ago there’s no touchstone for cooperation in the US-China relationship and we have to find that equilibrium and so far it’s been elusive it’s been difficult. The Japan China relationship showing signs of getting stronger dialogue right now but I fear that it may be very short-lived, that it may have a certain superficial quality to it but it may be something that is fragmented by the spring of next year.
The ASEAN based institutions as deputy assistant Mr. Sec of State Michael Fuchs talked about there’s no doubt that the array of institutions emanating out of the 10 Southeast Asian countries offer of venue, offer legitimacy, but I just found out in Malaysia and Indonesia there’s no courageous perception that they can take on these issues in fact just the opposite they want the United States to lower the tone, lower the idea that well there’s deterrents that there could even be costs or penalties on bad behavior, on coercion they want to focus instead of the cooperation and we do too I think.
I think United States overall strategy has to be one of growing our own presence economically and politically first and foremost in order to help shape this region positively to bring our friends and allies together to deal with these issue but we’re going to have to avoid these dangerous incidents, we’re gonna have to avoid digging ourselves deeper in holes by military buildup on islands that are disputed or by taking actions that are clearly provocative and unilateral change of status quo that’s how I see it it may be a bleaker picture than we’ve heard so far but that’s my assessment.
GOV. DUKAKIS: Thank you. Folks we’re moving along here and I want to make sure that our participants here have an opportunity to be a part of this so I want to turn now to Joseph Nye, old friend and a former dean of the Kennedy School. He has talked a lot about these issues and worked on them over the past few years. Joe, you’ve got a number of people who you’re going to be introducing and leading in this discussion so welcome aboard.
PROF. JOSEPH NYE: Well thanks Mike let me (audio cut) senior officials recently and what strikes me is in principle China has realized that it has an interest in using its soft power. If you are growing in hard power in a military or economic capacity the way China has you’re likely to frighten your neighbors into coalitions against you. But if you can combine your hard power with soft power of attraction and persuasion you make those coalitions less likely.
Hu Jintao said this in 2007 when he addressed the 17th party congress. He said China needs to invest more in its soft power and they have done that. They have spent billions of dollars on Confucian Institutes and turning CCTV into an Al Jazeera of the world and so much more. The trouble is that it is difficult to combine soft and hard power together so they don’t cancel each other out. The United States has made mistakes like this. The invasion of Iraq for example was very successful in hard power terms but very destructive to our soft power. But China faces a similar problem; they’re concerned about America’s containment or America creating alliances against them. But then they’re doing actions with their hard power which are driving all these countries into America’s arms and they don’t quite know how to get out of this. For example if you take the Philippines, you set up a Confucius Institute in Manila to make yourself attractive. Traditional Chinese culture is very attractive, and they you use your hard power to drive Philippine boats out of Scarborough Reef.
And guess what happens, instead of the Confucius Institute making China attractive in the Philippines you get a very strong anti-Chinese sentiment over what is a little bunch of rocks. This is a very counterproductive strategy. If you think of the alternative, especially when I ask my Chinese friends about this they say “Well we have no choice this is sovereign territory we can’t give this up” So what they’re doing is sacrificing their larger influence in the region for a bunch of rocks. And you’d say well if those rocks are sitting on enormous amounts of petroleum or gas maybe it’s worth it but (unintelligible) published that’s not really the case. So think of a better strategy for China. Suppose China were to take the suggestions of Michael Fuchs and Bonnie Glaser and others have made and say yes we’ll go for a binding code of conduct in the South China Sea and we’ll agree that in the East China Sea- this is a proposal that Kevin Rudd and I published in the Washington Post last week-
We’ll agree that the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands should be put off for a future generation in the meantime they should not be militarized or inhabited but turned into a marine ecological preserve. If you had this larger perspective China’s national influence which grows out of its overwhelming economic strength with those trade ties that Steve Bosworth was mentioning earlier will lead into a much better position than its in now. So one of the real puzzles is why does China if it has the wisdom that was expressed by Hu Jintao that was expressed at the 17th party conference, if it has the wisdom to combine soft power with hard power to create a smart power strategy why hasn’t it done it? Instead what it’s doing is a counterproductive strategy which is driving all its neighbors into the arms of the United States in the exact opposite position which it said were its objectives. So I would suggest that the real question that we ought to think of is How could China really implement what Hu Jintao said in 2007 and as Xi Jinping has repeated and develop a smart power strategy. That would be good for China, good for the US, and good for the region as a whole. I hope that’s provocative enough to stir some dialogue.
GOV. DUKAKIS: Joe we have some people who are participating with you and might want to introduce one or two of those folks.
PROF. JOSEPH NYE: Ok well to bring others into this let me suggest that Ambassador Kondo, the special advisor to the minister of foreign affairs, and is in Tokyo might be willing to add his thoughts on this.
AMBASSADOR SEIICHI KONDO: Hi I’m Seiichi Kando and I’m co-author of this book Soft Power, Superpowers. The point I will make is that I don’t think China really understands what soft power means. Soft power is a kind of secret weapon, what they have explicitly been doing is to use their culture and their Confucius institutes to attract others but, it is very clear what is behind this. I don’t like to talk too much about soft power of Japan because as I said it is a secret weapon. I don’t think China is ready to understand the power of soft power. It’s a kind of propaganda still. I hope Prof. Nye will persuade them as to what soft power really is. Thank you.
PROF. JOSEPH NYE: Also were fortunate to have Prof. Suzanne Ogden here. A professor and department chair of political science at Northeastern University, would like to join in?
PROF. SUZANNE OGDEN: Just a brief statement. I think Japan has to think about their soft power too, Japan doesn’t really do enough to project its own soft power. What is the equivalent, to the Confucius institutes throughout the world that China is doing? What is the equivalent, of the millions of Chinese who are going abroad to study? As opposed to very very few Japanese were going abroad. We don’t interact with the Japanese. We have thousands- tens of thousands of Chinese students and scholars in the United States – we meet them were very impressed by them we learn a lot about them. We don’t get that from Japan and I think Japan needs to be out there more. They need to project their own soft power. Japan’s soft power right now comes from their technology, their manga, their anime- but they need more projection.
AMBASSADOR SEIICHI KONDO: May I respond to this? What is even more important is to invite young people – young artists to Japan. The power of soft power in Japan comes from nature, people’s lifestyle, business, clean streets, and so on. Ms. Ogden, very difficult to explain all those words but if you’re here for six months you will really love it and you’ll understand what the real soft power of Japan is. Of course sending more students and more people abroad, but we need more people to come to Japan, to really feel the soft power of Japan. This is a great opportunity for us to do that.
PROF. JOSEPH NYE: If the attractiveness of Japan goes up in Beijing, the attractiveness of China goes up in Tokyo. That’s a win for both countries, and also in our benefit as well. But let’s again a Chinese perspective on some of these questions, and Zengke He is here perhaps we could invite you to give your perspective.
ZENGKE HE(inaudible, poor audio)
PROF. JOSEPH NYE: Well thank you very much, but do you think it would be possible to see China accepting the kind of binding code of conduct for settlement of disputes over islands within the nine dashed line? As Bonnie Glaser mentioned tonight, Could you imagine that being acceptable or not?
ZENGKE HE(inaudible, poor audio)
PROF. JOSEPH NYE: Prof. John Quelch of the business school is – I don’t know whether he’s not with us physically tonight what is the – he is sick so he will not be able to join us. Maybe we can ask Anders?
ANDERS CORR: Thank you. Thanks Joe, six years of grad school here and I remember seminars here and I’m so happy to be back. I have a few points that I’d make, coming off what people have said. The first is that I don’t think ASEAN is really a good location to solve the South China Sea dispute. China is clearly breaking international law, for its own aggrandizement in terms of maritime territory. ASEAN has been blocked by Vietnam and Cambodia, which are near client states of China. Their blocking any real moves by the ASEAN organization. The TPP and APEC are great ideas, I’m not sure how much influence they are going to have positively on the situation. Sometimes Chinese economic access to countries greases the wheels essentially for their influence, and they use that influence to stop any sort of confrontation against the aggrandizement they’re pursuing in the South China Sea. I think that US allies are worried, I think they’re worried about the commitment of the United States if it came to war with China. Look at Scarborough shoal, China has occupied Philippine territory essentially as part of their exclusive economic zone for two years and we really haven’t done much about it all.
We certainly haven’t done anything militarily about it. I think that gives people pause about our commitments, our defense commitments with those countries. What I think we need to do is take a stronger stance in terms of our bilateral treaties, I think we should go beyond a bilateral treaty and have a strong multilateral defense treaty in Asia. I think that we should include Japan, I think we should include South Korea, Australia, New Zealand. I think that’s key and Asia. I think we should also have a partnership for peace program similar to NATO in Europe. I think a lot of the other democracies in the region should be included in that partnership for peace program. I think it will significantly strengthen the multilateral defense organization. US to China defense expenditures, right now, are roughly 4 to 1 – for every dollar China spends, the US and our allies in Asia spend four. We have the military power to stop China’s expansions, but we’re not using it. North Korea of course is another major threat it’s not just China. As the Chinese legitimacy, I think China can gain legitimacy in the international arena by following international law. As long as China continues breaking international law, I think the countries that are being hurt by that we’ll see China as a criminal. In a think other countries will see China as a criminal.
GOV. DUKAKIS: It sounds to me like this is a new Cold War. Or am I exaggerating?
ANDERS CORR: It’s a dangerous situation. You got Russia and China expanding territorially and with military force, China is using its Navy against these low countries and it’s a very dangerous situation.
GOV. DUKAKIS: So we are going to surround them with military alliances?
ANDERS CORR: I think we should have a strong Democratic military alliance just as we do in Europe.
PROF. JOSEPH NYE: Dick Rosecrance you should get in this. But so should probably Lara you written a very good article on this.
PROF. RICHARD ROSECRANCE (DICK): It does seem to me were at a choice point and as many people around the people know, including particularly Joe, we’ve just finished a book on World War I and its implications for future. If something as bad as World War I could occur in 1914, are we sure that something like that could never occur again? Especially since, when we look at the causes of World War I, none of them were inevitable. The things that happened actually had to happen. So we have to worry about something that is also accidental, in causing conflict between ourselves and China over time. We have to take that very seriously.
I would like to move away from international law, I think we will never solve anything in the Pacific through international law. Each of these countries has their own economic zone, which overlaps with China’s nine dashed line. There is inevitably going to be conflict there, there is no international court that will resolve that conflict that simply. So what we should be doing in Asia, is to move from de jure to de facto instead of trying to solve things at the international legal level. We should work together to work practically on solutions, for example, without deciding who owns the Senkaku or the Diayou islands it would be possible for China and Japan to work on developing a latticework for drilling operations in the area nearby. So they can actually share what comes out without having to decide finally who owns it because they will never decide who owns it.
The same thing is probably true in Scarborough shoal, it’s true in terms of Vietnam and so on so I would encourage de facto to supersede de jure. Also, let me make one more comment, China will never be a member of TPP as long as these disputes are going on. They will never be allowed to join the transpacific partnership. Only if these issues are settled, in one way or another, and it need not be legal, it could be settled informally. Will it be at all likely that China could join in the great advantages of the TPP, when you consider that. The main thrust of Chinese trade is not at East Asia (inaudible) the components have been added the final parts of been assembled, they all go out to a worldwide market. In Europe, in the United States, in other countries – those kinds of things are crucial in the long term for China. So joining TPP would be very helpful to China, but that’s not going to happen until there are some concrete agreements that allow other countries to participate with China in TPP.
HOLLY MORROW: Maybe as a counterpoint to what was just said about international law, I know a number of people brought up (inaudible) is that the US has not ratified (inaudible) so if we talk about –
PROF. RICHARD ROSECRANCE (DICK):The World Bank
HOLLY MORROW: That’s different though.
PROF. RICHARD ROSECRANCE :Well still. And de facto not de jure.
HOLLY MORROW: But I think we’re in tenuous ground, we are seen as being on tenuous moral ground when we lecture Asian states, China or anybody else, on the importance of obeying a rules-based status system based on UNCLOS which is a treaty that we ourselves have not signed. So I would just make a push, as I have made in Washington for many years to be a proponent of this we have to ratify.
PROF. JOSEPH NYE: Well we have exhausted our time for this half but Mike to one handed over to Kevin?
GOV. DUKAKIS: I do. We have the former Prime Minister of Australia with us, and were going to turn the rest of our session over to him so, Kevin you’re on.
PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD:Thank you very much governor and Joe Nye, and my distinguished colleagues here. I’ve been asked to talk about what we do for the future of the Asian-Pacific region. Specifically to talk about the possible long-term concept of an Asia-Pacific community.
The reason I’m late tonight, is that I’ve just been attending the graduating function for one of the classes sent here by the organization department of the Chinese communist party. They have been here for the last two weeks they saw Joe Nye here this afternoon and told me some good things he had to say to them and some of the bad things as well. Their evaluation of my performance was the same. But the reason I raise that is because the central part of the equation is how China views its own future. That was very much the subject of Joe’s discussion (inaudible) and it’s been a useful thing that Harvard University’s been doing not just with this group but for some years now over 500 people gone through similar training courses at this great university. What I might do is simply talk to four points.
The first is this, concerning what I think is the current state of the US China relationship (inaudible) then I might talk briefly about what can we learn in the centenary of World War I from the Europeans of the world about how to avoid unnecessary conflagration and conflict? And thirdly I might talk about where East Asia has got to so far on the creation of regional institutions. And finally, some thought lines that I’ve had myself on this going back to my years as the Australian prime minister on how we begin to change the pattern of thought about how we can construct a common future together. Let me start with the first which is the current state of US China relations: Joe has been looking at this for many years, I have been looking at this for many years, I’ve been looking at it primarily as either a diplomatic or political practitioner. Himself as a distinguished scholar with a very significant reputation which speaks for itself. My judgment is that the relationship at present it’s probably in its most difficult state that it’s (inaudible) it should not be thus for the simple reason that there are so many things in common between the two countries. But nonetheless it is thus.
When you start to talk to senior Chinese leaders and foreign-policy leaders about the current state of the relationship you can easily put together a list of what might be problematic in the relationship but actually think it’s much more fundamental than that. It goes to both Chinese perceptions about both their own and America’s future in East Asia going out to the midcentury point in America’s perception of China doing the same. And reduced to its absolute essential there is a high profound and I believe dangerous level of strategic mistrust between the two at this point.
Of course this is no one’s fault in particular it is a reality. And as someone from a third country, a friend of China and an ally of the United States, I’ve sought to bring a different perspective on what could be done about it. Which brings me to my second point, China which is a deeply scholarly culture, has spent a lot of time researching the rise and fall Of great powers in history not just in Asia but in Europe. Also patterns which emerge from historical analysis over time. For example over the last 10 years China has produced an extraordinary series on central Chinese television on the rise and fall of great powers. It is either I think in eight or 12 part series but quite a profound level of analysis as to why empires rise and why they fall. Starting with the Greeks and finishing with the British, and then to the present period ending with a huge question mark about themselves and a country well known and loved by many of us around this table, the United States of America. So in the Chinese look at historical evolution (inaudible) what they would call the Thucydides trap whereby when an emerging power begins to challenge and established power it creates a particular set of behaviors which are intrinsically destabilizing. This produces to classical forms, either the emerging power seeking to preempt action against it by the established power or by the established power seeking to delegitimize the emerging by preempting it first. The historical precedence given there Athens and Sparta, and more recently in the First World War Germany and Russia and Germany and Britain.
The interesting conclusion that I draw from the First World War which I think is shared by many Chinese scholars is that how in fact can the Thucydides trap be avoided? Xi Jinping the Chinese president has exclusively referred to (inaudible). That is how to escape necessarily the fault lines and predictabilities and some of the obstacles of history and create a different future? His concepts, which he describes as a new type of great power relationship, is a headline still waiting to be populated. But it is a legitimate attempt to create something different than the predictable great power clashes that we’ve seen littered across history.
The study of World War I is particularly interesting because the conclusions then I draw from that and that a number of Chinese scholars draw from that, though would be not truthful to say that spread across wide numbers of the Chinese Academy, one of the reasons that we had units in 1914, one not all, was the absence of any effective European wide institution at that time. In fact the system of global dispute resolutions had barely begun, through various international associations established the previous year in the Hague. We had not even begun yet to fathom the league of Nations let alone the United Nations. So within Europe itself there they took us into this war Through all the historical factors that we are familiar with, one of the great problems was the faulty nature of diplomatic communication at the time. In the absence of intermediating powers or the type of institutions tasked with ensuring the communications were correct, accurate, and informed.
I don’t wish to misrepresent history, that’s not single cause but the critical events of 1914 in August and into the early days of September I think it was a significant contributing factor. The opinion of Europeans on this question, and I hope I’m not going to offend anyone around the table, but I’m Australian we do that professionally anyways, is their slow learners and we had a second great conflagration as well called the second world war. Eventually the Europeans concluded particularly, France and Germany, that this was a generally dumb idea. Having been to the Franco-Prussian war, the first world war, and the second world war with a combined carnage approaching something like 70 or 50 million – I’m looking at Richard to nod his head indicating whether I got the collective number right over those three conflagrations. So states decided after the First World War that European institutionalism would be a factor that would reduce the risk of such conflict in the future. If you look at the modest beginnings of what we would call the European Union, starting with the coal and steel agreement of 1954, essentially a Franco German agreement to it then became a common market which event became a European Community and then finally became a European Union.
The strategic objective which people like (inaudible) I think was in time realized, in that is enough thought now of France and Germany ever taking up arms against each other Is now so out of the range of conceptual possibility it would be considered ridiculous. If we ask that question in 1945, 1950, or even 1955, I think given we had so many repeat performances, that would not necessarily have been refuted. So I pay tribute to the statesman of that period 1945 – 1955. French and German in particular. (inaudible) which brings us to the question of the Asia-Pacific region in the question of institutionalism, look at what’s evolved in Europe since 1945 which the Europeans call a pan institutionalism, the European Union itself, the CSCE, ultimately kind of the early OSCE and various other Europe wide institutions.
The parallel developments in the Asia-Pacific region have been very thin to non-existent. If you look at Australia’s region, we’ve seen the evolution of ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations, good in itself, and with that particular culture of regional institutionalism, it’s turned former adversaries into colleagues so that the possibility of possible large scale war between them, that is the 10 southeast Asian states, by and large is now much more remote than it ever was. But remember, in 1975, when ASEAN was first conceived, or 1976 if I’m correct, when it first became fully formed, it actually dates from earlier exercises in the late 60’s, it was seen then primarily as an anticommunist block by western leaning military dictatorships against communist Indo-China.
But the development of concepts of community, of even common security commitments, I won’t say common values because that stretches it if you look at communities such as Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Burma, it has been, I think at the sub regional level, a remarkably successful institution. Since the fall of Saigon, leaving aside the border clash between Cambodia and Vietnam a couple of years later, amongst the southeast Asians it’s been conflict free. However, if we looked at the map more broadly across wider east Asia, institutionalism has been much thinner on the ground. There evolved out of ASEAN something called the ASEAN Regional Forum which is to have a loose dialogue on Pan-regional security questions that was a diplomatic initiative of one of my predecessors Gareth Evans, if you look at the evolution beginning with the Chinese of ASEAN + 3 becoming ASEAN + 6 and in turn becoming the East Asia Summit which now includes the United States, you have the evolution of a thin institution, but nonetheless one that exists on paper. More broadly across the region however, you have at an economic level APEC, again an Australian diplomatic initiative by Bob Hawke and later Paul Keating which has had a huge role in frankly establishing an orthodoxy between binary stages the necessity of having open economies and open markets in the region where that previously not an orthodoxy.
I think APEC has been a very useful catalytic institution in that respect. A political institution which embraces the political (inaudible) namely wider East Asia including India, there isn’t much to speak of. Which brings me to my final point. What then can be done? For some time, a bit like a voice in the wilderness, I have argued a proposition which we should begin thinking about; conceptualizing and then advancing the idea of an Asia-Pacific community. Its first stepping stone has already been established through some regional diplomacy with China, a role in leading up to 2010 which was finally getting the East Asian Summit to the degree of America joining. And that was an administration then to accept that invitation in 2010 given the historical patterns of US behavior in Asia was “We don’t do multilateralism, you guys do that, we just do bilateral alliances.” Some of us with grievance to America thought that this was not entirely mindful of how issues would unfold over time.
I helped in my own way to lead that charge. Anyway getting the 10 southeast Asians, the 3 northeast Asians, China, Korea, and Japan and the three other ones Australia, New Zealand , and Canada to agree to America entering this institution. It was seen as a significant regional breakthrough. The interesting thing about the EAS as it’s called in East Asia (inaudible) two advantages 1) It has an open mandate, if you look at its founding principles in 2005 it stresses political, economic, security, foreign policy, and any other matter which is deemed to be relevant to the region’s future. It’s called the Kuala Lumpur declaration. 2) For the first time we have a nascent institution in Asia which has all the principles round the table. The great danger prior to that was we’d have a bifurcated Pacific of simply the East Asia run institutions and America carved out. But now you have America and now you have the East Asians and of course Russia because they’re there as well. So what I’ve argued since 2008 on is that we should over time evolve a concept of an Asia Pacific community.
I’m very mindful of European precedents here which means taking things slowly, step by step, but the value of a galvanizing vision for the long term, is it actually points political energy in a particular direction. Even if it’s not an immediate material manifestation of (inaudible). The fact that we have through the East Asia Summit process got the participants right now we realize the next step which is turning it into a more robust regional institution and therefore evolving into something I call the Asia Pacific Community.
My final point is this: partly this I wish to be a realist about this and say it doesn’t fundamentally resolve realist strategic concerns on the part of the Americans, the Chinese, and others within the region, in areas where at present there is no constituted agreement, but what it does do is that it begin over time to create the culture of common security dialogue, common foreign policy discourse, common political conversation about the regions common future. That prior to 1954 didn’t really exist in Europe. When I look at that example of what we could do in the Asia Pacific, it’s capable I think of producing some genuine positive outcomes in the future. It is not a panacea, it is one part of a broader fabric in dealing with I think the current fragile and delicate and biased deteriorating state of the US China relationship. If we can have that as a part of our armory and our software for the future.
Developing step by step a culture of strategic cooperation beginning in such practical areas as common preparation and engagement for the next major natural disaster in east Asia as we all know happen at a large scale every year. But all the militaries are working together, the PLA, USAF and the rest, the Royal Australian Air force and the Indonesians and the Japanese Self Defense Force on the next big one. Whether it’s a Fukushima type incident whether it’s an earthquake in Sichuan or whether it’s out of control fires in Australia which could take out a large city. This begins to create the culture, atmosphere, and sprit, of common regional enterprise. Those are the thoughts I’d like to leave you with this evening, Thank you very much.
AMBASSADOR SEIICHI KONDO: Mr. PM can I say a word? It was good to meet you in Tokyo. Just two points: 1) There is attention on the APEC summit as to whether Abe and Xi Jinping will meet or not. I think there’s a bit too much of that because Pres. Obama and Xi Jinping met for 8 hours last August but still not everything was solved. I think we should not try to see if that summit happens between Xi Jinping and Abe , it’s not gonna be a panacea a euphoria and solve everything. I think we have to be very patient. 2) We should always keep the door open such as TPP. Second we should not try to create at this moment an institution like NATO because that would be too antagonistic it’s also not realist in context of Japanese relations as well. We should try to use what is there and try to build up from there. 3) (inaudible) father of soft power Joseph Nye but I think talking about soft power, the essence of that is your founding fathers principles democracy, freedom of speech, the rule of law, it is a contradiction of Chinese policy in soft power because if we think of the essence of soft power it’s not only manga or anime it’s more of that philosophy.
GOV. DUKAKIS: We certainly are gonna have a lot to talk about as we move ahead. I must say however Mr. Ambassador that I’m not sure the remilitarization of Japan will create a culture that PM Rudd is talking about. We have a couple of people who I hope will make a comment or two to wrap things up. Let’s begin with
LING CHEN – (poor quality audio )
LLEWELLYN KING:(poor quality audio)
PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD:60 seconds to respond to my good friend the Japanese ambassador. One is on Xi Jinping and Abe in Beijing my belief is that they will certainly meet, whether they agree on a future summit is a separate question. I think the temperature is, by mutual design, coming down because they realize the risks both economic and political allowing it not to get out of control. My second response is, and where I think we disagree with you ambassador, is not to try a new regional institutional approach. Bilateral mechanisms are failing across Asia. Therefore, the rest of Asia does not want to find its security ultimately exclusively hostage to the dynamics of the Sino-Japanese relationship. As a consequence, you can build other trust mechanisms by having us focus on a common regional future. Some of the building blocks are there. I would certainly welcome Japan becoming engaged with the evolution of such a regional institution.
AMBASSADOR ICHIRO FUJISAKI: Sorry Mr. PM I totally agree with you. I said we should not make an institution which would exclude China, we would have to start thinking about multilateralized institutions with China in the future, not maybe right now. Second Abe and Xi Jinping I think they’ll meet aswell and I think It’s very good, it’s better than not meeting. But we should not have too many expectations that it will solve all issues.
GOV DUKAKIS: Let me wrap up what has been a fascinating evening by simply saying based on my own experience , excluding anybody is usually a mistake if you’re thinking about bringing people together. As John Maynard Keynes once said (inaudible) having celebrated my 80th birthday we should not wait years to bring China into this process. I think we have in fact figured out we have to right now. In any event I think it sets the stage for our next conference in November. I want to say thank you to all of you both here and around the world for participating with us. Kevin thank you for giving us the conceptual framework to dig into and a special thanks to Tuan Nguyen for making all this happen. Thank you all very much.