Scholars Discuss China’s Challenge at Yomiuri International Forum; Respecting Values Key in U.S.-China Competition

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Panelists speak at the November symposium of the Yomiuri International Forum 2023 in Minato Ward, Tokyo on Thursday.

The Yomiuri International Economic Society (YIES) and The Yomiuri Shimbun held the November symposium of the Yomiuri International Forum 2023 at Keio Univsersity’s Mita Campus in Tokyo on Thursday. The symposium was titled “Breakdown of global order and a turning point for Japan.”

At the event, Guoguang Wu, a senior research scholar at Stanford University’s Center for East Asian Studies among other experts, discussed the theme “China’s Challenge and the Ability to Shape International Opinion.”

In his keynote speech, Wu pointed out that Chinese President Xi Jinping has been eliminating high-ranking officials in the name of anticorruption, and that elites within the Chinese Communist Party system seem to be taking fewer risks in order to avoid doing what Xi does not like. The Chinese government’s reach has increased, but its governance and ability to develop the economy has significantly declined, Wu added.

China is easing its relations with the United States with an aim to buoy the Chinese economy, but that may only last for about a year, said Wu.

Tomoki Kamo and Satoshi Mori, professors at Keio University, were also panelists at the debate.

Mori said China’s goal for the international order is “to make the U.S. alliance a system in name only and eliminate its military presence from the Western Pacific.” He said the key to the U.S.-China competition for winning international opinion would depend on how much they could respect the values and interests of the majority of other nations.

Kamo said that a similar competition is taking place between Japan and China.

“Japan must enhance its ability to shape international opinion to develop the order necessary for peace and prosperity in the international community,” Kamo said.

The symposium was cosponsored by Keio University’s Faculty of Policy Management and the Japan Forum on International Relations Inc.