The U.S. withdrew from the Indochina Peninsula and ASEAN suggested Southeast Asia as a zone of peace, freedom and neutrality.
31 May 1974
Sino-Malaysian diplomatic relations was established
9 June 1975
Sino-Philippine diplomatic relations was established
1 July 1975
Sino-Thailand diplomatic relations was established
Vietnam sent troops to Cambodia.
China worked with ASEAN in restoring Cambodia’s sovereignty and independence. China’s economic reforms and opening up promoted economic relations between ASEAN and China.
Resumption of China’s diplomatic relations with Indonesia
3 October 1990
Sino-Singapore diplomatic relations was established
30 September 1991
Sino-Brunei diplomatic relations was established and relations with Vietnam was normalized.
In addition to the six member states of ASEAN, Vietnam, Burma, Laos and Cambodia joined, making it the largest regional organization in Asia. Notably, China’s diplomatic relations with all 10 member states was formally established.
China attended the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting as a full dialogue partner and became a dialogue partner of ASEAN from then on.
Jiang Zemin, the President of the PRC, attended the ASEAN+ China, Japan, Korea (10+3) Summit, with individual meetings with leaders of the ASEAN, and issued the ‘Joint Statement of the 1st ASEAN-China Summit’ which laid the guiding principles of mutual trust partnership with ASEAN in face of the 21st century.
Hu Jintao , the Vice President of the PRC, attended the 2nd Informal ASEAN-China Summit (10+1) in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
November 1999, 2000 and 2001
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji attended the 3rd, 4th and 5th ASEAN-China Leaders’ Summit held in the Philippines, Singapore and Brunei respectively. During the 5th summit, it was agreed to establish an ‘ASEAN-China Free Trade Area’ within 10 years. Moreover, Premier Zhu Rongji identified agriculture, information industry, human resources and the Mekong River area as new arenas of cooperation between China and ASEAN with the support of the ASEAN. In assisting the process of integration, Premier Zhu simultaneously offer favourable tariff arrangements for the least developing countries Laos, Burma and Cambodia.
The China-ASEAN Business Council was established
6 October 2003
Premier Wen Jiabao signed the ‘Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia’ in hopes of peacefully resolving disputes between China and ASEAN member states (i.e. sovereignty over the Spratly Islands), further shouldering the responsibility of keeping peace and stability in the Asian region.
Source: Huang Anyu(黃安余), Xin zhongguo waijiao shi(《新中國外交史》) (The New China Diplomacy; Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2005), pp. 150-170.
Entering into the 21st century, China and ASEAN relations are no longer purely political and diplomatic. Closer cooperation can be seen in economy, culture, information industry, human resources development and environmental protection.
China and ASEAN trade figures:
1970s: Bilateral trade started between China and ASEAN;
1975: total trade value of US$0.523 billion;
1993: total trade value of US$10.7 billion;
2001: total trade value of US$41.62 billion, an increase of 5.3% from that of 2000. Of the US$41.62 billion, China’s exported a total of US18.39 billion with an increase of 6.9% and imported a total of US$232.3 billion, with an increase of 4.7%. There was a trade deficit of US$4.8 billion with 0.1% in favour of the ASEAN;
2002: total trade value of US$54.77 billion;
2011: ASEAN was the third largest trading partner of China and China the largest trading partner of the ASEAN. Bilateral trade amounted to US$362.85 billion.
7.2.2 Change in perception towards China
After the Second World War, the perception of Southeast Asian countries towards China can be understood in three phases.
1950s-1970s: China was regarded as a source of unease, resulting in hostility towards the country. In turn, Southeast Asian nations leaned towards the United States and was highly anti-communist during the period;
Late 1970s-1980s: Following the downturn of Sino-Soviet relations, establishment of Sino-Japanese relations and improvement of Sino-American relations, Southeast Asian nations also came closer to China, though still lacking trust in China;
Post-1990s: A number of perceptions emerged after China began to rise: was China a political ally, a competitor or a militarily powerful neighbour? Where did the ‘China threat’ come from? Should China be seen as an enormous commercial market or a savior of financial crisis? This showed how uneasy the ASEAN members feel.
7.2.3 Policy towards China- adjustments to direction and its major contents
Upon the end of the Cold War, the ASEAN policy towards China was greatly adjusted, of which can be identified in two separate phases.
Normalization (1990-1997): ASEAN member states tried to improve relations, particularly in trade with China during this stage. For instance, Singapore became China’s 5th largest foreign investor in the mid-1990s and Indonesia also resumed diplomatic relations with China;
Cooperation (1997- present): China is perceived as a savior of financial crisis owing to her rapid economic growth. Built on the foundation of cooperation in economy and trade, China and ASEAN have evolved to become multi-lateral strategic partners in politics, security and culture.
China-ASEAN full engagement has brought about a number of breakthroughs in diplomacy which includes the impressive idea of an ASEAN-China Free Trade Area. Proposed in 2000 and affirmed in 2002, the Free Trade Area began operations on 1 January 2010.
On the other hand, China remains a threat to Southeast Asian countries, resulting in different opinions concerning the containment of China:
Indonesia and Malaysia: Both of them are Muslim countries and have long anti-American tradition. Indonesia has a dream of “Great Power” while Malaysia has become attached to China for economic progress, but she leans unto the United States in politics and security;
Vietnam has more concerns towards ASEAN interests; she has attempted to establish close relations with the United States and Japan;
Burma and Thailand: both are pro-China, especially the military government of Burma which has got China’s assistance during her long period of isolation. However, both countries have sought India’s help to contain China;
The Philippines and Singapore: obviously pro-American in terms of politics and security of Southeast Asia.
Historical Foundations of Integration in Western Europe
For ages, the issue of western European integration has remained a matter of speculation and debate. From division to unification, the problem of integration undeniably stands at the heart of Europe.
The foundations of international cooperation had already been laid a few years before the end of the Second World War. In 1944, the Bretton Woods Conference saw the participation of 44 countries and 730 representatives, resulting in the formation of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the equivalent of today’s World Bank.
After the Second World War ended, decisions made by the two emerging powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, served as a crucial force in influencing the development of Europe. For instance, the Marshall Plan of 1947 brought western European nations closer together but it deepened the breach between eastern and western Europe.
The Dawn of Cooperation
Western European cooperation that started in the Marshall Plan continued down the road in the decades that followed. In 1948, the Economic Cooperation Administration or the ECA was established. In the 1970s, Britain and members of the European Free Trade Association joined the integration.
Cooperation normally comes in different ways. Europe’s kick-start at military cooperation came in 1949 with the formation of NATO. This encouraged and inspired western Europeans to come up with their own counterpart for collective security and the EDC or the European Defense Community was proposed by France, although opposition from the French Parliament eventually invalidated the plan.
Owing to American aid in the late forties and early fifties, the western European nations were able to stand back up after the destruction of the Second World War. In May 1950, the European Coal and Steel Community, the ECSC, was formed under France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux. The organization monitored economic development and tried to increase employment opportunities in western Europe.
As history showed, economic cooperation within western Europe did not stop at the doors of the ECSC. In 1957, the European Economic Community, also known as the EEC was established under the Treaty of Rome. The organization regulated market prices and abolished tariff amongst member states, serving as yet another dress rehearsal for western European integration.
Moving further inside Europe, the story of West Germany itself offers further insights on the integration of Europe. From 1963-1966, Chancellor Ludwig Erhard attempted to open dialogue with the Soviets but to no avail. In 1970, Chancellor Willy Brandt was finally allowed a meeting with the East German Prime Minister. In August that same year, the Treaty of Moscow eased the tension between West Germany and the Soviet Union. The mission of opening eastern Europe reached another height in 1972 with the Four Power Agreement. Like no other before, this agreement secured the position of Berlin and formally normalized relations between East and West Germany.
The End of the Cold War
Edging closer to the end of the Cold War, the integration of Europe continued to come under the influence of US-Soviet relations. In the 1980s, US President Ronald Reagan opted for a tougher stance against the Soviets. The case in the USSR was a totally different picture. The idea of Perestroika and Glasnost reduced Soviet intervention of eastern European countries. This goes to say that even before the fall of the communist empire, eastern Europe had been allowed greater freedom to make their own decisions internally and externally.
As active as Reagan in pulling down the Soviet Union, Gorbachev’s contribution to ending the Cold War shall never be forgotten. The man reciprocated the conventional picture in Europe, without which Ostpolitik could not have worked as well as it did in bringing Europe together as one. In the winter of 1989, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Bulgaria, Rumania and Yugoslavia overthrew their existing regimes and the eastern European camp gradually crumbled to pieces, ending the separation between eastern and western Europe.
The European Union
After the end of the Cold War, the European Union emerged to finally carry out the long-debated concept of European integration. In the 1990s, Austria and Sweden became members of the organization and from 2004 to 2007, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland and Rumania successfully became member states. Under such a context, further integration in both space and structure shall no doubt be anticipated in the European continent in the decades to come.
Question for Discussion:
Discuss the role played by West Germany in the economic integration of Europe during the period 1945-1990.
Emergence of International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs): Success and Limitation of Cooperation
In 1945, non-governmental organizations formally emerged under Article 71, Chapter 10 of the United Nations Charter.
After the Second World War ended, a number of revolutions can be noted - in communication, information and global economic development. Therefore, thanks to the rise of globalization and the rapid emergence of a transnational village, international non-governmental organizations are nowadays commonplace all over the world. As local affairs are brought into the international stage, INGOs have become involved in disaster and emergency relief, solving issues in environment, poverty, health, crime, inequality, population through the transfer of financial, technical and moral aid to third world countries, usually through cooperation with governments, multinational corporations and civil participation.
How do INGOs achieve the end of bettering the world? In the most typical example, INGOs promote charity: in television commercials, donations are called for. The same is done over the Internet or in Hong Kong’s street corners. However, INGOs do more than just provide financial assistance to those who need help. During disaster relief campaigns, material easement is witnessed. In long-term development, education programs and training courses may be given to increase working skills. Furthermore, INGOs are known to propose and fight for policy changes that can help protect local peoples in the long run.
INGO assistance can be divided into two categories: direct and indirect. Indirect relief is provided when INGOs work with another party, say, governments, governmental organizations or other non-governmental organizations. Direct easement is achieved through food distribution, medical provision, security guarantees and other on-the-spot executions. All activities, direct or indirect, can be categorized in a number of different aids that can range from survival to technical, financial, educational, legal or environmental.
To understand the transnational aspect of cooperation, we may turn to the problem of environmental conservation. Two articles serve as basis in legitimizing INGO participation in this field: Article 4 and 7 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Aside from making an impact on environmental issues, INGOs have long been present in the area of public health, especially with the rise of the Rockefeller Foundation. If we take a look at the problem of AIDS, we find tens of thousands of NGOs involved in joint efforts.
From Red Cross to the Alliance for Smiles, INGOs do not and cannot stand alone for most of the time. With this in mind, NGOs worked hand-in-hand with the Asian Development Bank in promoting public health services to low-income people.
Weaknesses of INGOs
As successful as INGOs are, limitations and weaknesses are inevitable. Even though organizations are dedicated to monitoring climatic change, there is no legal agency that allows formal participation. In other circumstances, humanitarian aid is not sufficient in stopping the outbreak and persistence of war. Political power is another problem - when states are corrupt and refuse outside intervention, the influence of INGOs can be largely restrained.
Since the 1980s, NGOs have become a global phenomenon, rich in forms, goals and slogans, and active in international events. Without doubt, NGOs have assisted in bringing about transformations and change in the global economy and world peace.
Question for discussion:
To what extent do local factors influence the effectiveness of INGO assistance?
Globalization of Food: Economy, Politics and Society
Food globalization began as early as in the late 15th century. During the Age of Discovery, the Europeans began to travel to other continents, resulting in contact between Eurasia and the Americas and a changed diet.
In the two world wars, the problem of food was crucial in defining strategic decisions. During the First World War, one of the factors leading to German defeat was the outbreak of famine in 1917-1919 which killed seven-hundred and fifty thousand Germans. Blockades were imposed, for instance, by the Germans to cut off the transport of foreign food to the British Isles. In 1933, the Nazi Party imposed state control over food production and Hitler’s fight for living space aimed at turning Russia and Ukraine into the bread-basket of Germany. In Asia, Japan attempted to turn Manchuria into a major source of food stuff. The importance of food continued well into the Second World War.
Post-world war development
After the Second World War, a period of relative peace and stability followed in western Europe, North America and some parts of Asia. This period signified the continuity and even enlargement of multinational food producing enterprises. Most of these could manipulate the production, processing, transportation, distribution and retail of certain foodstuff. During this period, they were also expanded into developing countries to open up new resources and markets. With this, multinational food companies, some of them were already operating in the late 19th century, re-emerged this time propagating a fast food culture that swept the world starting from the United States of America. Technological development after 1945, also known as the Second Agricultural Revolution, led to the emergence of agro-chemistry. The use of fertilizers sufficed the global demand for food production which began during the war and was complemented by wartime breakthroughs in science. Yet, the impact of the over-use of these chemicals on human health is not yet totally ascertained up till now. Aside from this, technologies in refrigeration, transport, packaging and breed improvement also saw relentless improvement.
On the downside, distribution remained a problem even after 1945. Whilst millions die of hunger in countries like Africa and China between the 1950s and 1990s, more and more people are being diagnosed with obesity in the United States and the developed countries. The problem of obesity and wastage was also increasingly apparent in China, which has been enjoying an economic boom in the past two decades.
The early days of international cooperation
The first international attempt of cooperation over food issues took place in 1905 with the establishment of the International Institute of Agriculture. In 1945, the Food and Agricultural Organization, the FAO, was formed as a subordinate organization under the United Nations. Between 1945 and 2010, the World Food Programme, World Food Conference, World Food Council and World Summit on Food Security were founded under the United Nations. Apart from the efforts of the UN, attempts at international cooperation in food issues were launched by the World Trade Organization in 1993, the World Bank in 2010, as well as the European Union. These organizations work together in relieving famine and establishing unified measures in food safety and measurement. In addition, market regulation, stabilizing food price and assisting technological development are all agenda in international cooperation.
Although the scope and activity of international cooperation have so far seen rapid development, limitations are nevertheless present in the process. First, the Cold War politicised negotiations at international agreements. With food problems, confrontation similarly occurs as different organizations come together and differing views are placed on the table.
The downside of food globalization
As effective as food aid may be in easing the difficulties of underdeveloped countries, it should be known that negative effects actually coexist. In Africa, over-reliance on food aid has discouraged local incentives to improve productivity and sustainability. Placing food in the hands of corrupt governments also suggest the aid may end up as a tool for making cash. In addition to these, there are other obstacles such as the commercial interests of countries, bottleneck limits in production, speculation and trade barriers as well as new technologies being resisted by vested interests and the rise and fall of oil prices.
All in all, the globalization of food has had much impact on societies, especially after 1945. For one, the industrialization of food production has resulted in food wastage, which has had environmental impact. As a consequence, our biodiversity is constantly threatened as certain species risk extinction. Pollution has also become more and more aggravated.
The rise of national cuisine and identity
Finally, it is becoming more and more apparent that food has come to be linked with culture and class. The concept of national cuisine has risen as a resistance to globalization and tensions between national and regional cuisine are beginning to cause tension as one constantly challenges the other, not only in a struggle for authentic identity, but also for conservation and tradition. With these in mind, international cooperation is further complicated.
The globalization of food has changed the world in ways more than one. International cooperation in this field has never been new, yet the fields, objectives and achievements have seen growth and development in the decades only after the Second World War. Apparently, the benefits of working closely together shall outweigh conflict and uphold global cooperation in the decades to come.