2. Jun 2023 / 21 min

Recentering Pacific Asia: Regional China and World Order

Brantly Womack and Julie Yu-Wen Chen

The Pacific Rim of Asia – Pacific Asia – is now the world’s largest and most cohesive economic region, and China has returned to its center. In this conversation, Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki discusses with Brantly Womack from the University of Virginia about his new book Recentering Pacific Asia: Regional China and World Order (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

China’s global outlook is shaped by its regional experience, first as a pre-modern Asian center, then displaced by Western-oriented modernization, and now returning as a central producer and market in a globalized region. Developments since 2008 have been so rapid that future directions are uncertain, but China’s presence, population, and production guarantee it a key role. As a global competitor, China has awakened American anxieties and the US-China rivalry has become a major concern for the rest of the world. However, rather than facing a power transition between hegemons, the US and China are primary nodes in a multi-layered, interconnected global matrix that neither can control. Brantly Womack argues that Pacific Asia is now the key venue for working out a new world order.

Recentering Pacific Asia: Regional China and World Order is written by Brantly Womack. The book contains commentaries from Wang Gungwu (National University of Singapore), Wu Yu-shan (Academia Sinica), Qin Yaqing (China Foreign Affairs University), and Evelyn Goh (Australian National University).

Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki (Finland). From 2023-2025, Julie Yu-Wen Chen is in the EU twinning project The EU in the Volatile Indo-Pacific Region (EUVIP) where she leads the preparatory research and provides supervision and counselling to junior researchers. Brantly Womack is on the international advisory board of EUVIP.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk

Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast

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