The Miriam College Department of International Studies (MC-IS) has held another virtual Lecture Series with Regional Experts titled, “Transcending Regional Boundaries Across Virtual Realities” that commenced last February 12, 2021, with Dr. Baogang He, the Chair of the International Relations at Deakin University, Australia specializing in Chinese politics, Asian regionalism and Asian multiculturalism.
Dr. He focused his lecture on the Indo-Pacific Region, emphasizing the contestation of global powers such as China and the United States. He highlighted four key issues namely: (1) the presence of the New Regionalism Strategy in Global Power Contestation in the 21st Century; (2) Chinese New Perception of the Indo-Pacific Region and its Regionalism Building; (3) regionalism and its modification to the logic of alliance; and (4) prospects of Indo-Pacific regionalism in Asia. The lecture has also explained the ASEAN Plus 1 and the contested issue in the rivalry between the United States and China regarding the South China Sea. Succeeding Dr. He’s presentation was a very enlightening and engaging open forum that sparked a free-flowing dialogue with the participants as they threw in “intelligent” questions in light of the discussion.
During the course of the open forum, Dr. He has answered all questions with great insights, sharing his knowledge and deep comprehension of the issues such as China’s attempt to use the ASEAN Plus 1 regionalism to push the United States out, and China’s evolving regional approach towards the South China Sea, which has provided the participants an excellent opportunity to learn more about the China-led Regionalism against the United States. Professor He has concluded the open forum with a positive note that China’s presence in the Indo-Pacific region can activate stronger cooperation between the region and China when addressing internal and external issues.
Indo-Pacific regionalism is a very critical topic to students, academicians, scholars and researchers of International Studies. As mentioned by Dr. Melanie Reyes, the Chair of Department of International Studies, in her welcome remarks, it is impossible not to touch on Asian regionalism and to a greater extent the Asia Pacific regionalism when discussing Indo-Pacific, especially that many countries like Australia, India, Japan, and the USA have adopted Indo-Pacific strategy in their foreign policies.
Highlighting the main objective of the first lecture series and formally concluding the event, Professor Kebart Licayan, Senior Lecturer of the Miriam College Department of International Studies, expressed his sincerest gratitude to Professor Baogang He and to the almost 100 participants from the government, civil society groups, the academe from the Philippines and Asia who attended the first round of lecture for this second semester.
-- By Yzabelle Ann S. Franco and Jean Pearl M. Torres
You may watch the full lecture below or view it on the Miriam College YouTube Channel: