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Our four speakers from University of Sydney will discuss aesthetics, relationships, education and language revolving around the topic of ‘Identity’ by sharing their unique stories to encapsulate the immense impacts of culture on one’s world view.
One in five people in our multicultural society of Australia was born overseas. Amongst the yearly increase of thousands of international students, Asian faces are commonly seen among this inflow of people. However, therein lies the intriguingly diverse backgrounds beyond their identical skin tones: some of them are born and raised here, some immigrated here as a child, while others have come for university. Each of them holds distinct values and perceptions of their identity.

Discovering Identity Awareness and uncovering Cultural Differences

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Dr Alexander Korolev, the Russian scholar who focuses on trilateral relations between China, America and Russia, shared his views on China concerning the trilateral relations among China, Japan and Korea and their foreign policies. From the perspective of the Chinese government, Korolev states the China, Japan and Korea relations differs from the that of its other trilateral relations with other countries as it is asymmetrical. It means the influence between two countries may not equally affect the third party. Moreover, the regional competition between these countries has led to regional geopolitics that has affected the trilateral relations as a whole. He then talks about the general political structure. The political structure of the world has dramatically changed since the end of the cold war. In 1991, the GDP of the U.S was 16 times more than that of China. However, the GDP of China in 2015 was already 60% of the GDP of the U.S., and in 2014, China’s military budget became the second largest in the world. Dr Korelev explains that the U.S. today suppresses other countries to a large extent which also creates a chance for China to earn a place on the global political stage. He believes that it is the key to resolve the trilateral relations among China, Japan and Korea.

Beijing’s view on the trilateral relations among China, Japan and Korea

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Dr Kim talks about three aspects in relation to achieving regional cooperation to face the larger upcoming global issues. The three main aspects are a). the climate change, b). Europe, North America and Northeast Asia are getting more vibrant due to the affordable and abundant fossil fuel energy, c). the energy crisis. He firstly introduced China’s recent development on clean energy by stating that China is a world-leading country in terms of study on energy recycling. China has invested in hydropower and wind power since 2008 and has established the world’s biggest energy recycling system by 2013. Korea is also ambitious in opening up new economic opportunities. It is trying to develop a global smart grid system. Moreover, Japan always has an idea of building a smart city where automatisation can be achieved, and clean energy can be used. Dr Kim indicates that the quicker the transformation is, the more beneficial it is to all countries. He also mentions that the idea of establishing an ‘Asia super grid’ will accelerate the process. China, Japan and Korea are all paying attention to the cooperation on clean energy transformation. He holds a positive attitude towards the regional cooperation on clean energy transformation. However, the biggest challenge at the moment is the existing and increasing monopoly in these countries. Chinese representative: Dr Alxander Korolev comes from Russia, he is currently a professor of politics at the University of New South Wales. His research interests are in the relations between China, Russia, and the United States and East Asian politics.

Northeast Asian Counties and Regional Clean Energy Transformation

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Although China, Japan and Korea suffered from their losses on different scales in World War II, East Asia has become one of the most prosperous and vigorous areas in the world. However, Dr Lionel Babicz commented that history still has an impact on the trilateral relations among China, Japan and South Korea today. He tried to view Japan and East Asia from a broader perspective. He suggested that under the influence of China, countries in East Asia share commonalities in their cultures. The broad concept of ‘East Asia’ has a much longer history than the concept of the ‘nation-state’. Japan is not an exception when it comes to the East Asian cultural sphere. Thus, it is necessary to integrate China, Japan and Korea and view these three countries as a whole when touching on the issue of trilateral relations among China, Japan and Korea. In spite of the fact that the recent economic activities have gradually alleviated the trilateral relations, the traumatic influence that the war brought was relatively fresh in people’s memories. Therefore, there is still a long way to go concerning reconciliation.

Korean representative: Dr Sung-Young Kim comes from Korea, he is currently a professor of political economy at Macquarie University.

Japan in East Asia in the 21st century

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The trilateral relations among China, Japan, and South Korea is one of the most significant and complex regional relations in the world. These three countries constitute 20% of the world population, 25% of a world economy and 90% of the East Asian economy. They are close geographically and share similar cultures, such as Confucianism and Buddhism. Nevertheless, China, Japan, and South Korea have neither formed a regional cooperation institution as Southeast Asia (ASEAN) nor achieved a regional Free Trade Agreement like North America (NAFTA). With the significance of the region in term of politics and economics, as well as this uncommon regional circumstance, CDS thus decides to hold a Talk on it. On 4th October, three professors from different backgrounds who respectively represent China, Japan, and South Korea will discuss this trilateral relations and future cooperation in this region.

Japanese representative: Dr Lionel Babicz comes from France, he is currently a professor of Japanese history and culture at the University of Sydney.

Trilateral Relations among China, Japan and South Korea

© Copyright The University of Sydney China Development society, 2017