To understand China, we would like to emphasize at the outset that it is important to examine the domestic developments
Domestic developments play a critical role in shaping China’s behavior in regional and world affairs.
There is always what is called linkage politics between domestic developments and external relations
The First Component
As such, the first component of the China Watch project would be to set up a Monitor and Analysis Unit.
The Unit will issue the China Updates and China Policy Briefs
China Updates will be published twice a year while China Policy Briefs will be published four times a year. The former is a survey of the current internal and external developments of China while the latter focuses on policy analysis and recommendation.
China Updates will be written/edited by the staff of ARCID and China Policy Briefs will be written by senior members of ARCID and invited guest commentators/specialists
The Second Component
The second component of the project would be two major research clusters, one on economics and the other on security.
For the first major research cluster on economics, we would like to concentrate on China’s multilateral and bilateral relations with the Asia-Pacific
Specifically, we would like to encourage more research proposals on China’s relations with ASEAN, particularly those with the Mekong region
In this regard, an examination of the regional implications of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) framework would be most pertinent
Proposals on China and the border economy in the Mekong region would also be welcomed
The second major research cluster is basically on China and Asia-Pacific security
In terms of geopolitics and economics, China plays a dominant role in the region
It is noteworthy that she plays a critical role in all major regional security challenges
Again, we would like to steer our research more towards security issues related to Southeast Asia and especially the Mekong region
The proposals can deal with not only traditional security, such as territorial disputes, weapon proliferation, etc., but also non-traditional security and so-called human security, such as environmental security, including water and energy, law enforcement security, transnational migration, etc.
In this regard, it would be useful for us to have projects on China and border security in the Mekong region
The Third Component
The third component is the hosting of three international conferences and three public lectures
The three international conferences are essentially related to the research projects under the two research clusters of the China Watch project
The themes of the three conferences are: 1. China’s Reforms in Flux; 2. Regional and International Implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative; 3. China and Asia-Pacific Security
For the three public lectures, they will deal with current issues/studies and are meant for public education
The Fourth Component
The final component is on academic exchange
This would mean linking up with like-minded centers in East Asia and institutionalizing some research collaborations with some of them
We would also try to explore if they have scholars/researchers who would like to join our project
All in all, we hope to finish the China Watch project in three years