Anumita Raj, Joint Coordinator for SFG’s South Asia Security Unit, was invited to participate and present a paper at East Asia Institute’s annual ‘ROK-US Alliance Conference’ in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 21st October 2011. The Conference’s focus and theme this year was “A New Security Order in East Asia and the ROK-U.S. Alliance”. The Conference was composed of three sessions, each consisting of one moderator, three presenters and three discussants, followed by Q & A with the audience.
The Welcome Speech was delivered by Dr. Young-Sun Ha of the Seoul National University and the Keynote Address by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Sung-Hwan Kim. The first session, titled ‘Change in the East Asian Security Architecture’ had views presented by Dr. Michael E. O'Hanlon from the Brookings Institution, Dr. Dong Wang from the Peking University, and Dr. Chaesung Chun from the Seoul National University. The first session focused on the rise of China as well as the perceived weakening of the United States in the global stage and how these factors could impact relations in the region, including the ROK-US alliance. At lunch, the Conference was addressed by General James D. Thurman, Commander of the U.N. Command, Combined Forces Command, US Forces Korea.
The second session, focused on ‘The Rise of China and the Strategy of Neighboring Countries’. It witnessed presentations by Mr. Masayuki Masuda from the National Institute for Defense Studies, Dr. Ming Lee from the National Chengchi University, and Ms. Anumita Raj from Strategic Foresight Group. The second session’s discussion centred on the increasing assertiveness of China and how this would impact other nations in the region, specifically Japan, Taiwan and India. The different approaches and strategies taken by each of these countries vis-a-vis China’s new strengths were explicated by each presenter.
The third and final session revolved around ‘Issues on the Korean Peninsula and Future of the ROK-US Alliance’. The presenters were Dr. Mark E. Manyin of the US Congressional Research Service, Dr. Kang Choi from the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, and Dr. Taeho Kim of the Hallym University of Graduate Studies. The third session’s focus was the future of the ROK-US alliance in light of various challenges and paradigm shifts, including China’s rise and North Korea’s continued estrangement with the Republic of Korea.