Maritime Asia: Securitization of the China Seas

Maritime Asia: Securitization of the China Seas

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The Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley, in collaboration with the Department of Politics & International Studies, University of Cambridge, is convening a workshop on “Maritime Asia” with a focus on the “securitization” of the China Seas in the 19th and 20th Centuries. This public forum presents the highlights from the workshop.
Anchored in the disciplines of historical and international studies, we view “securitization” as a process of politicization that is geographically defined, historically contingent, resource constrained and trans-temporal in its effects. We also view securitization as the formation of a discourse that is contingent upon complex speech acts in multiple sites. What can we learn from China's modern history about the nation's long-term aspirations as a maritime power? How does Beijing pursue naval preeminence in a post-Cold War political economy of globalizing connections and multilateral agreements? As China aspires to become a major Asian maritime power in the 21st century, we propose to examine the how, why, and the so what, internally and internationally, about its significance.