Presenting itself as part of the non-Western and/or post-Western IR study, the innovation of Chinese IR theory has increasingly become a contentious issue, most noticeably since the publication of Yan Xuetong’s Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power (Princeton, 2011). On the one hand, theorists, historians, and policy-makers try to excavate philosophical ideas from ancient China, in the hope of reinventing and applying classical conceptions to explain and to solve contemporary complications in Chinese foreign relations and global politics. On the other hand, there are scholars who are sceptical of the whole approach and question the legitimacy of its raison d’être. What does it take to reinvent a Chinese IR theory (or norm, or principle) that responds sensibly to the need of China, Asia-Pacific, and the global community? If soft power building is ultimately a civilisational issue, then where is diasporic China in ”The China Dream” narrative? Would the West and the rest accommodate or exclude it?
Speaker: Walter Lee, Senior Research Fellow, University of Hong Kong
Comments: Jyrki Kallio, Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Chair: Elina Sinkkonen, Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
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