Culture Mandala : The Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies
[0 followers] Follow
Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1322-6916 - ISSN (Online) 2202-4832
Published by Bond University [11 journals]
- Book Announcement - The politics and philosophy of Chinese power: The
timeless and the timely
Authors: R. James Ferguson et al.
Abstract: This book provides a timely analysis of the politics, philosophy, and history of Chinese power, focusing on social, strategic, and diplomatic trends that have shaped China for over three thousand years. Chinese elites have used the past to inform the present, but have also mobilized new ideas to address the country’s rapid transition to global power. China’s intellectual world can draw on a surprisingly pluralist legacy. When Chinese thinkers assess "power," they bring to bear their classical legacy, the military classics, Chinese socialism, and Western political thought. There are also a number of intriguing formulations that give shape to the exercise of Chinese power. Among these are comprehensive national strength, stability preservation, soft power, asymmetric conflict, and counter-intervention strategies.This book looks at key periods in Chinese history when attitudes to power evolved and at their current expressions. These include China’s expanded use of think tanks to chart the future, efforts at creating an eco-civilization to balance growth, and an extended set of security and information capabilities. From observing the centrality of power in today’s international affairs, the book moves to the foundational concepts of Chinese governance: its belief in a strategic configuration of power - as understood in military contexts - as well as its growing diplomatic and maritime engagement abroad. This analysis culminates in new ideas of functional multipolarity. Power is also deployed internally: China’s use of nationalism as a major tool for state-building and cohesion, the ongoing role of socialism, and the People’s Liberation Army are all examined in this light. China’s current strategic culture has shaped President Xi Jinping’s search for a new model of power for China in the twenty-first century, an endeavour that will have serious implications for the future global order. This book provides an alternative perspective on China’s trajectory towards a revised international system.
PubDate: Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:33:35 PST
- THAAD: Missile defense or diplomatic challenge?
Authors: Kim Min Tayler' Lee
Abstract: The date 8 July 2016 is a momentous one for Northeast Asian security affairs. It was when South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced the government’s decision to allow US deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on Korean soil. This news reverberated around the world, as the implications of deploying THAAD go beyond the already dangerous Korean peninsula and impact on relations between the United States and China. This report discusses THAAD as not only a missile defense system but also as a diplomatic challenge.
PubDate: Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:33:32 PST
- The Bandung spirit: Connecting with the future
Authors: Rosita Dellios
Abstract: The Bandung Conference of 1955 – also known as the Asian-African Conference (Konferensi Asia-Afrika in Indonesian) – has acquired a legendary aura in international relations history. Its spirit of solidarity among newly independent nations in Asia and Africa was breathtaking: never before had non-Western nations come together to seek a voice in world politics.
PubDate: Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:33:29 PST
- Rising assertiveness versus peaceful development: Making sense of
China's ambivalent international behavior
Authors: Lukas K. Danner
Abstract: In the past few years, especially after the 2008 global financial crisis, China has become more assertive, not just in its military posture but also in its diplomatic affairs and economic interactions. Despite this rising assertiveness, China’s grand strategy officially remains that of ‘Peaceful Development.’ In consequence, scholars have disagreed about the trajectory of China’s grand strategy in light of its often ambivalent behavior. To explain this ambivalence, this article will take a closer empirical look at two important developments regarding China’s international affairs: The softening on China’s preoccupation with territorial integrity and sovereignty has been exhibited in taking sides with Russia in the Ukraine Crisis, as well as its continually increasing participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions. In contrast to more common materialist explanations, this article argues that the ambivalence of these actions can best be explained by contextualizing them with China’s history and sense of legitimacy.
PubDate: Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:33:26 PST
- The Role of International Organisations in the Russia-China Relationship
Authors: Polina Campbell
Abstract: The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China have certain international relations principles in common. They are committed to a multipolar rather than a US-dominated unipolar world dominated. The Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2007 at the Munich Security Conference: “In the modern world the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible” (Dokumentika, 2012). Chinese President Xi Jinping during his speech at the UN General Assembly in September 2016 pointed out that “the movement towards a multipolar world became an irresistible trend of the history” (Russia Today, 2015). Linked with their preference for a multipolar world is a desire to make and maintain close economic and/or security relationships with a wide variety of states, which includes interaction within the United Nations, the Group of Twenty, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the BRICS countries and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (Russian.news.cn, 2014).
PubDate: Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:33:23 PST
- Us and them: Constructing South Korean national identity through the
Liancourt Rocks dispute
Authors: David Kozisek
Abstract: The article presents a social constructivist outlook on the territorial dispute over the Liancourt Rocks between South Korea and Japan. The issue surrounding the islets better known as Dokdo or Takeshima, keeps both countries busy issuing negative critical remarks towards one another even fifty years after the formal normalization of their diplomatic relations. Nevertheless, the status quo has remained very much unchanged. Since the unprecedented official visit by then-president LeeMyung-bak in 2012, regular tourist trips to the location have gained even more popularity than before. Japan has attempted to bring the case to the International Court of Justice several times, only to be turned down by Seoul's claims that there is no territorial dispute to be discussed.The author focuses primarily on discursively constructed and maintained ideational properties of the conflict, discussing the territory’s symbolic value attributed to Dokdo by the contemporary South Korean discourse. Using the theory of othering in the process of national-identity construction, it is argued that the image of Dokdo has been transcended by Korean nationalists beyond a mere territorial dispute. Thus the islets have now reached a status virtually equal to a modern national symbol. As such it can be conveniently invoked by the elites to fuel anti-Japanese sentiments based on legitimate grievances over shared history. This simple yet effective discursively constructed "us and them" dichotomy allows Seoul to affirm its legitimacy over the peninsula by reinforcing a much needed stable image of national identity that is specifically South Korean.
PubDate: Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:33:20 PST
- Conference report on the 4th World Buddist Forum in China: Exploring the
value of Buddhism in modern times
Authors: Vivian Fung
Abstract: As the Autumn sun shone on the banks of Lake Taihu at Wuxi near Shanghai, over a thousand Buddhist dignitaries and scholars from all over the world gathered to explore the meaning of Buddhism and its value in today’s world.The Fourth World Buddhist Forum (WBF) was held at Wuxi’s Lingshan Mountain in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, on the 24th and 25th of October, 2015. The venue, which combines mountain scenery and the famous lake, is ideal for conferencing as well as for visitors interested in Buddhism. With its giant Buddha statue, the impressive Fangong Palace, the Tibetan Temple, gardens and other attractions, Lingshan Scenic Spot is now the permanent host site for the Forum. Started in 2006, the WBF has been hosted in the cities of Hangzhou, Wuxi, Taipei and Hong Kong.
PubDate: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:52:14 PST
- The City-God Temple of Shanghai: A protective presence
Authors: Rosita Dellios
Abstract: The practice of erecting temples for the guardian deities of cities was common across civilizations in the ancient world. A well-known example was the goddess Athena as the protector of Athens. The practice continued with the advent of Christianity, often through the saints associated with a particular town and its place of worship. For China, whose civilization has been continuous for some 5,000 years, the practice continues to this day with Chinese folk religion honouring gods that often represent heroic figures that were deified after their death.This is well illustrated by a temple dedicated to protecting modern Shanghai – China’s largest city (pop. 23 million). The Shanghai Temple of the Town God (Chenghuang Miao) is the best known Daoist temple in Shanghai.
PubDate: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:47:08 PST
- Gnosticism: The wise sister of Christianity
Authors: R James Ferguson
Abstract: Christianity was not born in a vacuum. It was fed from the fonts of religious turmoil in the Near East and from the rich philosophical and literary tapestry of Hellenism. To define itself as a unified and institutionalized religion, however, it had to divide and suppress two related tendencies: to purge itself of many gnostic tendencies that claimed a special place for divine knowledge over that of faith, and to relegate classical and Hellenistic learning to definite but limited roles. Greek philosophy had to be tamed, making it a useful adjunct, rather than a competitive educational system that might tempt the mind to prideful erudition.2 These processes of co-option, transformation, expulsion and suppression were the midwives of Christianity and Christendom. Gnostic bodies of thought were related trends that emerged as the distained sisters, but not the twins, of early Christianity. Gnosticism is indeed ‘a modern construction’ rather than a unified body of ancient thought, as noted by Michael Williams.3 However, the sociological construction of religion is itself a modern phenomenon. In this case, several different types of counter-canon, social protest, and demiurge polemics overlap, though no single group was likely to demonstrate all the features of the modern construct of Gnosticism.4 It may thus be safer to ‘speak of Gnosticisms rather than Gnosticism’.5 Nonetheless, certain patterns of thought, focused on discontent with a flawed creation and the desire for a direct knowledge that would lift one beyond rigid dogma, are shared by most groups identified as 'gnostic'.
PubDate: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:37:10 PST
- Can the 'apology standoff' between China and Japan be
Authors: Darryl Lupton
Abstract: In recent history there has been a move to making public apologies from a variety of countries and political leaders. Kevin Rudd apologised to the Australian Aborigines, Stephen Harper to the First Nations peoples of Canada and the US Congress and Senate to Native Americans and African-Americans for slavery. In the 2000s Germany apologised to the Herero and Nama people of Namibia for the genocide perpetrated on them at the start of the 20th century. However, the apology to the Jewish people from subsequent German governments after World War II (WWII) was probably the most challenging of all. The iconic (kniefall) picture of Chancellor Willie Brandt kneeling at the monument to victims of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising summed up a genuine and heartfelt remorse that Germany had for its treatment of the East Europeans and the Jews in particular. In contrast, there is one nation, Japan, unable to construct an apology apparently sincere or wholehearted enough to satisfy, especially China, but also South Korea and other Asian countries.
PubDate: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:27:16 PST