Berlin Conference on Asian Security 2012

The U.S. and China in Regional Security. Implications for Asia and Europe

A conference jointly organised by German Institute for International and Security Affairs
(Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP), Berlin,
and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin

Berlin, SWP, June 18-19, 2012

Venue: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Ludwigkirchplatz 3-4, D-10719 Berlin (Wilmersdorf)
Contact: Gudrun Wacker (++49-30-88007-265), gudrun.wacker(at) and Anja Bodenmüller (++49-30-88007-449), anja.bodenmueller(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 Sixth BCAS will focus on the U.S. and China in East Asia. The U.S. has been the dominant actor and security provider from the West Pacific to "West Asia" with its web of bilateral security alliances and strategic agreements ranging from Northeast Asia to the Persian Gulf since World War II. China's economic, political and military rise became more evident in the first decade of this century, when the U.S. was preoccupied with the global fight against terrorism and two major wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan. China officially welcomes the US presence in the region but at the same time tries to extend its own room to manoeuvre and to define the terms of negotiating conflicts and competing territorial claims in the region. U.S. engagement in Asia has been rhetorically strengthened, but will most likely be constrained by her financial situation. The states in the region have to develop strategies to deal with the possibility of increased competition between the U.S. and China in the region.

Despite not playing an active role in Asian security structures, the EU nevertheless has strong interests in issues like freedom of navigation or military transparency.

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Arrival of participants

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Arrival of participants


Welcome dinner at Kempinski Hotel Bristol, Berlin

Monday, June 18, 2012




Opening remarks by Stefan Friedrich (KAS) and Volker Perthes (SWP)


Session I: The U.S. and China in Asia's security – a debate
The first session will be held in form of a debate, providing the framework for the following panels and discussions. It shall provide an overview on U.S. and Chinese interests in regional security and their strategic focus.
Chair: Volker Perthes (SWP, Berlin)
US: Aaron Friedberg (Princeton University), »A Growing Rivalry: The U.S. and China in Asia's Security«
China: Zhang Baohui (Lingnan University, Hong Kong), »An Impending Strategic Rivalry? Sino-U.S. Relations after Obama's Pivot toward Asia«


plenary debate


coffee break, SWP lobby


Session II: Changing Policy Outlooks towards the Asia-Pacific: Other Powers Involved
How do countries in the region develop Sino-US relations over the next years? Is competition and even conflict likely? Or is a "shadow G2" forming, where China and the USA come to some sort of power-sharing arrangement? What role do they perceive for themselves in such scenarios? How do they prepare – economically, politically, militarily – for alternative futures?
Chair: Gudrun Wacker (SWP, Berlin)
Australia: Hugh White (Australian National University, Canberra), »Power Shift: Rethinking Australia's Place in the Asian Century«
Japan: Masayuki Tadokoro (Keio University, Tokyo), »Japan's Reactions to Rising China«
India: Brahma Chellaney (Center for Policy Research, New Delhi)
EU: Michael Reiterer (European External Action Service, Brussels); »The perspective of the European Union«


plenary debate


buffet lunch, SWP lobby


Session III: Stability for Northeast Asia
This panel will highlight the complex security situation in Northeast Asia. It will focus on the implications of instability on the Korean peninsula after the death of Kim Jong-il. What are possible scenarios for North Korea? How will the presidential elections in Korea and the U.S. as well as the anticipated leadership changes at the 18th Party Congress in China affect the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the security dynamics in the region?
Chair: Stefan Friedrich (KAS, Berlin)
China: Jin Canrong (Renmin University, Beijing), »The Present and Future Challenges of China-US Relationship«
ROK: Shin Beomchul (Korea Institute for Defense Analysis, Seoul), »Stability for Northeast Asia: North Korea Issues«
US: Jonathan Pollack (Brookings, Washington D.C.), »North Korea and Instability in Northeast Asia«
Russia: Mikhail Nosov (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow), »Security Situation in North-East Asia«


plenary debate


coffee break, SWP lobby


Session IV: South China Sea: What Issues and Whose Core Interest?
Session IV will address the long-standing problem of the South China Sea. Two issues intersect here: Firstly, conflicting territorial claims involving China and several ASEAN member states, and secondly, guaranteeing the freedom of navigation under international law (UNCLOS). In 2010 these two issues were linked at a meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum. What is the conflict constellation within the region and from an international perspective? What are the approaches of countries directly involved in the conflict and of non-claimant countries? Does the Declaration on a Common Conduct of 2002 still offer a path to a peaceful solution?
Chair: Enrico Fels (University Bonn)
Vietnam: Pham Quang Minh (Vietnam National University, Hanoi), »The South China Sea Issue and Its Implications: Perspective from Vietnam«
China: Wang Dong (Peking University), »Cooperative Deterrence/Compellence? The Huangyan Island and the Game of the South China Sea«
US: Taylor Fravel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston), »The United States in the South China Sea Disputes«
EU: Sarah Raine (German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin)


plenary debate


Dinner at Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin
Dinner speaker: State Secretary Emily Haber

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Session V: Enhancing Transparency: Military to Military Cooperation and Strategic Dialogues
The last thematic session will take a closer look at mil-to-mil cooperation and strategic dialogues in the region. The main focus will be on the relationship between the U.S. and China. Additionally, cooperation between China and states in the region as well as with European countries shall be addressed. How do these various forms of cooperation enhance transparency and trust? Can new fields of activity, such as anti-piracy operations, play a role in building mutual trust and confidence?
Chair: Patrick Keller (KAS Berlin)
Australia: Carlyle Thayer (University of New South Wales, Canberra), »Enhancing Transparency? U.S.-China Military-to-Military Contacts and Strategic Dialogues«
EU: Christian Le Mière (International Institute of Strategic Studies, London), »Enhancing Transparency: Military to Military Cooperation and Strategic Dialogues«
China: Lu Yin (National Defense University, Beijing), »Military Transparency involving China and the United States: A Chinese Military Officer's Perception«


plenary debate


coffee break, SWP lobby


Concluding Session - Recommendations
The concluding session will sum up the results of the conference and draw conclusions from the previous debates. In this session policy recommendations for Asia, North America and Europe will be formulated.
Chair: Gudrun Wacker (SWP, Berlin)
China: Jin Canrong (Renmin University, Beijing)
US: Robert Sutter (George Washington University, Washington D.C.), »Recommendations for U.S. Policy in an Uncertain Asia-Pacific Security Environment«
Australia: Hugh White (Australian National University, Canberra)
EU Council: Bugoslaw Marcine Majewski (European External Action Service, Brussels)


plenary debate
Closing remarks by Stefan Friedrich (KAS) and Gudrun Wacker (SWP)


buffet lunch, SWP lobby
End of conference
Departure of European participants

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Departure of overseas participants


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