China and Nuclear North Korea
North Korea’s nuclear program is the key security concern in Northeast Asia. With China acting as North Korea’s most powerful supporter, particular attention will be given to how China’s leadership transition might affect China-North Korea relations. How have different actors handled the North Korean nuclear issue? What differences might emerge under China’s new leadership? How might China’s new leadership attempt to resume the Six-Party Talks and encourage other neighboring countries to participate? What will be the perspectives of the different actors in the region with regard to China’s North Korea policy?
China, Central Asia, and the Middle East
Central Asia and the Middle East have historically been given particular attention by China on issues pertaining to energy. In recent years, the Middle East has drawn attention from China on account of the Arab Spring. This session will examine the Arab Spring and its implications for China’s relations with Middle Eastern countries. This session will also address how energy security issues affect China’s foreign relations with countries in both Central Asia and the Middle East. How might the instability in Syria and international pressure on Iran over its nuclear program affect the new Chinese leadership’s policies toward the Middle East? How will China’s leadership attempt to expand cooperation between China and Central Asian countries to develop natural energy resources and transportation security?
South Korea-China FTA
The proposed ROK-China FTA is not only an economic issue, but also a strategic one. While the ROK-US alliance remains steadfast and ROK-US economic cooperation has been enhanced through the ROK-US FTA, the Chinese government seeks to establish an ROK-China FTA. China’s motives appear aimed at enhancing economic cooperation with South Korea and pursuing China’s strategic goals in the region, which may include the repositioning of South Korea’s stance between China and the United States. In addition to examining both the nature and implications of economic cooperation between China and South Korea, this session will also examine challenges that the negotiation process might face and potential obstacles to an ROK-China FTA coming to fruition.