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28 February 2021
A Comparative Study of Asian Countries’ Bilateral Relations with China
When it comes to the study of Asian countries’ bilateral relations with China, there is an intriguing void. To begin with, there aren’t so many well-known academic works on any bilateral relations. There are indeed genuine difficulties. First of all, it is not easy to define bilateral relations between countries, although they are discussed daily as if people have a common understanding of what they mean. Are they talking about diplomatic relations, or are economic and people-to-people relations included? There is also no particular theory or an established approach towards the study of bilateral relations, except for the historical approach that usually lacks an analytical framework.
For this issue of the Journal of Contemporary East Asia Studies, we propose to compare four East Asian countries’ bilateral relations with China using the analytical framework of the Four-Factor Model. The model considers bilateral relations to be a bundle of relations in a variety of areas, including politics and diplomacy, economy, security and society. It identifies four areas to which various factors in the bilateral relations are categorised: domestic politics; economic interests; international environment and security; and people’s emotions, perceptions and identity. For each country’s bilateral relations with China, the author investigates the factors in each area, and attempts to identify the linkage between the four factor areas. Following the four papers analysing South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia’s relations with China, there will be three papers making a horizontal comparison, viz. comparing the function and importance of three factor areas in the four countries: domestic politics; economic interests; and people’s emotions, perceptions and identity. In these the three Japanese authors will introduce the case of Japan-China relations to enrich the comparison.
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Submissions should be made via the journal’s Editorial Manager website found here. When making your submission, authors will be presented with an option to specify that your paper is for a special issue, and will be able to choose the special issue 'A Comparative Study of Asian Countries’ Bilateral Relations with China' from a drop down menu.
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