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Study Of ASEAN's Strategy Of Balancing Great Powers

Posted on:2008-12-28Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:J K MaoFull Text:PDF
GTID:2166360212993216Subject:International politics
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Southeast Asian's countries have always been the edge of the world system. Asia-Pacific international pattern developed gradually to multi-polarity direction after the cold war. ASEAN realized that the best choice to maintain regional stability and prosperity is the strategy of balancing great powers, since it was unrealistic to exclude the influence of external great powers. The strategy of balancing great powers refers to admitting the influence of external great powers, making use of the contradictions of great powers and their nature of pursuing power, initiatively forging relationships with them on politics, economy and security without allying with them, meanwhile, preventing any of them being excessively powerful in order to maintain the balance of great powers, and thus, regional stability can be guaranteed.This thesis includes the introduction and five parts. Introduction mainly talks about the aims and significance of the chosen topic, researching conditions, researching approaches, etc.The first part discusses the background and theoretical foundation of the strategy of balancing great powers. ASEAN's external strategy has always changed along with international situation since it was established, which experienced attaching to America strategy in the 60s of 20th century, the plan of "Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality" in 70s, and the strategy of balancing great powers in the post cold war period. Though the theoretical foundation of ASEAN's balancing power strategy is the theory of balance of power, it's quite different from the traditional concept of theory of balance of power. By analyzing its aim and implementation, the strategy of balancing great powers could be beyond the logic of realism views, and could be the significant practice of the construction of regional security community from a long term.Part two analyses why ASEAN introduced the strategy of balancing great powers from two levels of analysis. Thus, levels of international system and national state. From international system as the level of analysis, ASEAN is difficult to remove the impact of external great powers because of the economic globalization, regional integration and its strategic location; Secondly, Asia-Pacific regional system showed a multi-polar pattern dominated by U. S., China, Russia, Japan and India after the cold war. On one hand, ASEAN worried about that some regional great powers could fill the "power vacuum" of Southeast Asian area after the withdrawal of U. S. and Soviet Union. On the other hand, great powers needed and supported ASEAN to play an important role in security and economic issues in a wider region while their relations were in the period of adjustment. From the national state as a level of analysis, the comprehensive national strength of ASEAN countries had enhanced greatly and their internal problems of security and economy had relieved to some extent. Therefore, ASEAN countries were able to putting external strategy into practice actively. Furthermore, the strategy of balancing great powers can conceal the different views how ASEAN member states treat external great powers. As a result, this strategy could be easily accepted by all the member states.The third part discusses the implementation and characteristics of the strategy of balancing great powers. This part talks about this strategy from two paralleled clues. One is that ASEAN positively develops the bilateral relationships with external great powers while keeps certain distances with them. ASEAN emphasizes on the military cooperation with the U. S. in order to balance the potential threat from China; Encouraging Japan to bring bigger effect in regional political and security affairs; Reinforcing the political and economic relationships with China to contain U. S. and Japan; Pushing India into the regional balancing structure by making use of India's "Looking East" strategy. The other one is that ASEAN tries to harmonize the contradictions among great powers, encouraging them enter various multi-lateral cooperative mechanisms which includes ASEAN Regional Forum("ARF"), "10+3", Asia-Europe Meeting("ASEM") and East Asia Summit("EAS"), etc. ASEAN's efforts to balance the great powers can be seen obviously through the process of the foundation and operation of those mechanisms. The ultimate characteristic of strategy of balancing great powers is that "great powers are led by small countries", which is deeply investigated and analyzed in this part.The main task for the fourth part is the effect and restrictive factors of the strategy of balancing great powers. ASEAN's strategy of balancing great powers has promoted ASEAN's international standing, driven the process of economic integration, and put forward the construction of East Asia's security regime. Two factors restrict the implementation of this strategy. One is that ASEAN is less cohesive. The other one is the uncertainty of the great powers' relations in the future.The last part discusses China's position in ASEAN's strategy of balancing great powers and how China should perceive and respond this strategy. ASEAN is a very important economic cooperative partner of China, it can help China prevent the besieging of U. S. and Japan, provides China with sources of energy indispensable to economic growth. China plays an important role in ASEAN's strategy of balancing great powers. China should understand this strategy; continue supporting ASEAN as the leader in the process of regional cooperation. In detail, China should forge political, economic and security relationships with ASEAN under the guiding ideology of entering international system and building the responsible national image. At the same time, China should pay more attention on the resolution of some sensitive issues, such as South China Sea and Taiwan issues.
Keywords/Search Tags:ASEAN, Strategy of balancing great powers, China, Countermeasures
PDF Full Text Request
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