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China’s Rise and the Security of East Asia WSD Handa Distinguished Lecture by Dr Thomas Christensen

LONDON – Professor Thomas Christensen,  Columbia University New York, gave a  lecture ‘China’s Rise and the Security of East Asia’ at the SOAS China Institute University of London, Friday 12 October.

Professor Christensen highlighted structural changes which affect China’s place in East Asia and its relationship with the USA, the other leading player in East Asia. 

He said the substantial rise not only in China’s economic strength but also in its military capabilities now require the USA to approach the issue of security in East Asia differently from two decades ago.

Professor Christensen remains confident that despite these trends the region will not see a new Cold War in Asia.

In his assessment the new situation arising in East Asia is one which will be a more complicated one than that which prevailed during the Cold War, where both sides knew where redlines were drawn and generally did not cross them.

The lines are not so clearly marked in East Asia today, and both the USA and China will need to approach their relations and the region much more carefully to ensure that peace, stability and good order are maintained.

He sees this as a significant challenge but not a mission impossible

This was the Second WSD Handa Distinguished Lecture at SOAS, which is an annual event . Worldwide Support for Development (WSD), is a  Japan based non-profit organization, founded by Dr Haruhisa Handa,


a philanthropist who has devoted himself to supporting disadvantaged people and communities all over the world.

The inaugural speaker of this series was Sir John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2008 to 2016.

About 300 people attended the seminar.

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