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國立東華大學 歐盟研究中心

【Activity】International Conference on the Roles of East Asia and the European Union (EU) in the Changing Global Orders: Competition versus Collaboration
Date: October 28(Fri.)~29(Sat.), 2022
Site: Room D118, College of Management, NDHU
Conference Language: English

The world is changing fast particularly at present. It is an out of question whether or not we return to the new Cold War because we have already been eye witnessing the new Cold War, while experiencing the Russian-Ukraine crisis since 24 Feb. 2020. It has become an epochal change not only for Europe, but also the whole world to see a massive military attack on the European soil ever since the Second World War. No matter what the reasons behind are, the clear fact is that the economic, military, and political competition between the democratic regime and the authoritarian regime is inevitable in the new global orders. The democratic regime represents its value of functional democracy, respecting human rights, and reigned by the rule of laws, while the authoritarian regime focuses mainly on its nationalism and expansion by economic and military powers.

The world community has created the multilateral-oriented peace structures based on the international institutions such as the UN, IMF, the World Bank, the NATO, the Warsaw Fact etc. after the World War II during the Cold War period that guaranteed the world peace and the power balance until the Soviet Union was collapsed in 1990 although there were several regional military conflicts in between such as Korea War, Vietnam War, China-Vietnam military conflict, Iran-Iraq War etc. After the Berlin Wall fall down, the world order was led by the USA, an ultimate unilateral superpower in hard and soft powers until China emerged to the world second largest economic power in 2010. Along with the Chinese rapid economic growth, its neighboring countries in the region such as Japan, South Korea, ASEAN member nations, Hong Kong, and Taiwan could achieve their high economic growth and become an economic power house generating a double higher economic growth than the average world economic growth last three decades. During the same period, the EU has also succeeded to expand to the Eastern Europe and included 28 member nations until the Brexit was realized in 2020.

After the Gulf Wars in 1991 and 2003 as well as the War in Afghanistan in 2003, the USA has faced a strong competition with China and the EU in terms of economy because its economic loss was colossal. In addition, the USA caused the global economic crisis (GEC) in 2008 and started to lose its strong grip to control the global economy since then. In order to overcome the economic and political power struggles in the future economic power house, the Obama government reset the Asia Pivot Policy in 2009. At that time, however, Chinese economic power after the GEC in the region had already been established as a strong competitor.

As China’s President Xi, Jinping took the power in 2012, his foreign policy switched from the Deng Xiaoping era slogan of keeping a low profile and legitimizing an active role of China on the world stage with regards to reform of the global order toward the major country diplomacy doctrine. Simply, China wants to be a superpower in the reshaping global order along with the USA although Chinese military and soft power are far behind those of the USA and the EU. Despite the fact, China succeeded officially in becoming the systemic competitor with the EU and the USA since 2019 after protectionism based on the trade conflicts with the USA started in 2018 under the Trump government that is a still ongoing process.

Chinese economic and military expansion in East Asia has been regarded as a severe threaten to the West in general and to the neighboring countries in the region in particular that could cause regional and global instability in reshaping the global order. In order to tackle on Chinese expansion in the region, the Trump Administration initiated a multilateral military and political structure known as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) in 2017 in which Australia, India, Japan, and the USA cooperate with one another in the Indo Pacific region. It is so called an Asian version collective defense system or Asian NATO. Moreover, the Biden government pushed hard that Australia, the UK, and the USA built the AUKUS Partnership in 2021 in order to check and control the Chinese military expansion and to restore its influential power in the region.

Such a strong approach from the democratic regime has resulted in a close cooperation between China and Russia in the authoritarian regime. Their cooperation has been intensified in all area such as economy, military, politics etc. The USA under the Trump and Biden governments started to full out their military troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2020 and 2021 respectively in order to concentrate on the US military capability in Indo Pacific region. As a result, the Middle East became a power vacuum for China and Russia competing with the USA for their influences.

Under such circumstances, East Asia needs to develop continuously for its economic and political stability as well as its prosperity. In order to create such a platform, East Asia and the EU share various mutual interests such as soft power, capital investment, climate change etc. each other along with the USA. Therefore, it is valuable to explore how to cooperate and compete with each other in the region for the long-term perspective.
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