Summary of my report on Sweden’s approach to China’s Belt and Road Initiative published by Hong Kong Trade Development Council. See http://china-trade-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/The-Belt-and-Road-Initiative/Sweden-s-approach-to-China-s-Belt-and-Road-Initiative/obor/en/1/1X3CGF6L/1X0ACL54.htm
New paper on Sweden and the Belt and Road Initiative just out: Sweden’s approach to China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Still a glass half-empty (UI Paper, No.1 2017 with Elin Rappe).
In 2013 China’s President Xi Jinping launched the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative, later renamed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which involves China undertaking to make infrastructure investments worth billions of US dollars in the countries along the old Silk Road connecting China with Europe. While commonly seen as an infrastructure initiative aimed at strengthening the Chinese economy, it is also a political project with far-reaching strategic aims.
This UI Brief outlines how China has approached the BRI with Sweden, how Sweden has responded and the perceptions of major Swedish stakeholders. It finds that Swedish officials are often highly cautious, maintaining a wait-and see policy. While also cautious, members of the business community are cautiously optimistic and have been more actively following BRIrelated developments, seeking out avenues for potential business. The actual impact of BRI in Sweden, however, is so far very limited.
The Brief concludes that Sweden’s approach to BRI has been too reactive and too passive. It argues that both the government and the business community need to engage more actively with the BRI in order to maximize its possible benefits. To this end, a national strategy is needed that includes the government and the business sector. Better coordination is also needed between government agencies and to link existing intra-governmental cooperation with the business community. Their importance cannot be overemphasized as the BRI is a political project, not an idealistic free-market endeavour.
Our findings on why the offensive dominates in military tactical thinking among Swedish army officers just published in the Proceedings and Journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences:
“Endast genom anfall kan ett avgörande nås: Varför dominerar offensiven militärt taktiskt tänkande?” (with Övlt Peter Ahlström), Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar & Tidskrift [Proceedings and Journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences], No 2 April/June, 2017:6-18. [OPEN ACCESS]
Today’s contribution sharing knowledge on the Belt and Road initiative – https://insights.nordea.com/b-r-bridging-divide-china-nordics .
You might also want to read my original article on the Swedish approach to the BRI/OBOR – http://fhs.diva-portal.org/…/g…/diva2:1067710/FULLTEXT01.pdf .
New open access article in Washington Quarterly – “Sanctions Reconsidered: the Path Forward with North Korea”.
Read it to understand how North Korea survives, why sanctions (do not) work and what to do about it.
Several publications from my research group has received a lot of attention and are freely downloadable online. Visit http://www.ui.se/nyheter/aktuellt/uppmarksammad-forskning-inom-asienprogrammet.aspx for links.
“Global shadow war: a conceptual analysis”, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, Vol. 8, Iss. 3, 2015 (with Markus Lyckman)
The US strategic shift from nation-building to what has been labelled “light footprint” has carried with it a number of changes in the practices used when waging war on terrorism. These activities include covert and clandestine action by special operations and paramilitary forces, and others, operating under a shadowy mandate. It is essential to analyse these changes, due to the nature of the actions taken and the global reach and consequences of US foreign policies. The concept of “global shadow war” has been used by scholars and journalists alike to describe the practices associated with the light footprint framework, although the concept is ambiguous, lacks clear conceptual boundaries and is yet to be defined. This article attempts to resolve the problem of ambiguity through a systematic analysis of how and when the concept is used, in the process establishing its conceptual boundaries and definitional qualities. Using a method for concept analysis developed by Giovanni Sartori, the article provides a conceptual definition which is more clearly delineated, encompasses the characteristics found in the sources studied, and can be used when theorizing about the many practices taking place within the light footprint framework.
A special issue on “China’s Maritime Embroilments” that I have co-edited has just been published in Asian Survey. This issue originates in a conference I orgainsed on “Collaboration at Sea”, kindly funded by a grant from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.
I have co-written the introduction with Prof. Lowell Dittmer (“China’s Maritime Embroilments” [FULL TEXT]) and an article titled “The South China Sea: Still No War on the Horizon” [FULL TEXT]. In my article I am using a conflict transformation framework to demonstrate that in fact positive transformations have taken place in the South China Sea between 1991 and 2007. I am arguing that even though these transformations have been weakened in recent years, particularly regarding actor behaviour, a major armed conflict is still highly unlikely.
The full table of content is as follows (PDF):
- China’s Maritime Embroilments (FULL TEXT)
LOWELL DITTMER AND MIKAEL WEISSMANN
- The South China Sea: Law Trumps Power
- Behind Rising East Asian Maritime Tensions with China: Struggle without Breaking
- Chinese Discourse on the ‘‘Nine-Dashed Line’’: Rights, Interests, and Nationalism
- Japan’s Approach to Maritime Security in the South China Sea
- How Economic, Strategic, and Domestic Factors Shape Patterns of Conflict and Cooperation in the East China Sea Dispute
- The US Rebalance and Southeast Asia: A Work in Progress
SHELDON W. SIMON’
- The South China Sea: Still No War on the Horizon (FULL TEXT)
- The South China Sea: Achievements and Challenges to Dispute Management
In a new article I am arguing that it is vital to understand what is guiding Chinese foreign policy, why this is so, and not least what kind of power China is and will be in the future. The article analyses the vital elements and thinking that guides Chinese foreign policy, its priorities and decision making process, concluding that China under Xi Jinping will not be a status que power accepting the world as it is, but nor are we to expect China to become a revisionist power aiming to remodel the global order. Instead, China is what can best be described as a responsible reformer “striving for achievements”.
“Chinese Foreign Policy in a Global Perspective: A Responsible Reformer “Striving For Achievement”“, Journal of China and International Relations, 3(1), 2015: 151-166.
China and Russia – A Study on Cooperation, Competition and Distrust (with Märta Carlsson & Susanne Oxenstierna), Report no FOI-R- -4087-SE, Stockholm: Swedish Defence Research Agency, 2015, pp.100.