The Struggle Over the South China Sea & the Strategy of Chinese Expansion
From 4.15 pm until 5.30 pm
At Lewes Speakers Festival
The All Saints, Friars Walk, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2LF
ASIAN WATERS: The Struggle Over the South China Sea & the Strategy of Chinese Expansion
Few territories are as hotly contested as the western Pacific Ocean. Across the 1.5 million square mile expanse of the East and South China Sea, six countries lay overlapping claims that date back centuries. China, Vietnam, Korea and Indonesia assert their right to trade routes, deploying military garrisons to defend disputed territories. Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines resist their expansion. But no single government can face a superpower such as China alone, and as the country extends its reach, less powerful states look to the US for diplomatic mediation creating an American security umbrella that stretches across the Asia-Pacific nicknamed the "American Lake".
These conditions produce an unstable cocktail of competing interests and international tensions poised for conflict. In this talk asks: Will China continue to rise to power peacefully or will its ambition prompt a new world war? Will Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan create a multi-lateral alliance similar to NATO to pre-empt further encroachment?
Humphrey Hawksley is a BBC foreign correspondent and a regular speaker and panellist at Intelligence Squared and the Royal Geographical Society.
A Q&A Session will follow.