Berlin Conference on Asian Security 2017

Triangular formations in Asia. Genesis, strategies, value added and limitations

Organized by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP), Berlin with friendly support of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), Berlin, and the Federal Foreign Office

Berlin, SWP, September 7-8, 2017

Venue: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Ludwigkirchplatz 3-4, D-10719 Berlin (Wilmersdorf)
Contact: Gudrun Wacker (++49-30-88007-265), gudrun.wacker(at), and Bettina Bloesl (++49-30-88007-138), bettina.bloesl(at)

The Berlin Conference on Asian Security (BCAS) serves as a forum for exchange between academics and practitioners from Europe, the United States and Asia. Its aim is to generate new ideas and discuss policy implications of evolving dynamics.

The 11th BCAS will focus on different forms of trilateral cooperation in Asia. It will address the role of these trilateral formats, why they originally formed and what they have accom-plished. What are the strategies of cooperation? How have they developed over time and what is their added value in comparison to a bilateral approach? Do they strengthen or weaken existing multilateral organizations? Do they contribute to regional (and global) prosperity and stability?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Arrival of overseas participants

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Arrival of European participants


Registration and welcome coffee/light lunch


Opening remarks by Günther Maihold (SWP)


Session I: US-centered triangles: US – Japan – Australia

Chair: Gudrun Wacker (SWP)

US: Andrew Shearer, »US-centered triangles: US - Japan - Australia« (Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington D.C.)

Japan: Tomohiko Satake, »Shaping the Future: The US-Japan-Australia Strategic Triangle«, (National Institute for Defense Studies, Tokyo)

Australia: Euan Graham, »Australia-Japan-US Trilateral: A Perspective from Australia« (Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney)


Plenary debate


Coffee break, SWP


Session II: US-centered triangles: US – Japan – South Korea

Chair: Alexandra Sakaki (SWP)

Japan: Yoshihide Soeya, »Deep Structure and Logic of Japan-ROK Security Cooperation«, (Keio University, Tokyo)

South Korea: Young Ho Kim, »Trilateral Security Cooperation among ROK, US and Japan: Prospects and Challenges«, (Research Institute for National Security Affairs, Seoul)


Plenary debate


Dinner, SWP

Friday, September 8, 2017


Session III: Non-US related: Russia – China – India

Chair: Christian Wagner (SWP)

Russia: Igor Denisov, »Russia-India-China Triangle – From Russian Perspective«, (Moscow State Institute of International Relations)

China: Zhang Xin, »High Rhetorical Significance, Low Practical Substance: Do We Need the RIC Format?«, (East China Normal University, Shanghai)

India: Rajesh Rajagopalan, »Russia-India-China: The Never-Never Triangle«, (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)


Plenary debate


Coffee break, SWP


Session IV: Non-US related: China – Japan – South Korea

China: Yue Li, »China, Japan, and South Korea: Trilateral Relations of Competition, Coordination toward Cooperation«, (The Pangoal Institution, Center for Northeast Asian Studies, Beijing)

Japan: Yuichi Hosoya, »Northeast Asian Trilateral Regional Cooperation: A Japanese Perspective«, (Keio University, Tokyo)

Comment: Bong Kyoo Yoon (Research Institute for National Security Affairs, Seoul)

Comment: Alexandra Sakaki (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin)


Plenary debate


Buffet lunch, SWP


Session V: Trilateral Initiatives focusing on Afghanistan: US – China – Pakistan and Russia – China – Pakistan

Chair: Nicole Birtsch (SWP)

Russia: Petr Topychkanov, »Trilateral Initiatives focusing on Afghanistan: US-China-Pakistan and Russia-China-Pakistan«,(Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow)

China: Wang Shida, »China’s Role in Facilitating the Peace Process of Afghanistan«, (CICIR Institute of South, Southeast and Oceanian Studies, Beijing)

Pakistan: Amina Khan, »Initiatives Focusing on Afghanistan – A Pakistani Perspective«,(Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad)


Plenary debate


Coffee break


Implications for Europe

Chair: Volker Perthes (SWP)

Germany: Janka Oertel (The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin)

France: Francois Godement, »The implications for Europe (of triangular cooperation in Asia)«, (European Council on Foreign Relations, Paris)


Plenary debate


Closing remarks by Volker Perthes (SWP) and Gudrun Wacker (SWP)


Dinner, SWP


End of conference

Saturday, September 9, 2017


Departure of European and overseas participants

SWP Comments

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SWP Research Papers