Roundtable Discussion | Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea and Implications for U.S. Security and Diplomatic Relations in the Asia-Pacific

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 (4:00 PM – 5:30 PM)
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As in its claim over contested territories with Japan, China, too, has been far more assertive in its claim over contested territories with the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea.  From show of force with its new blue-water naval ships to designating disputed territories as part of a new southern province, China’s rhetoric and actions have prompted the Philippines and Vietnam to seek closer security ties with the U.S. and its allies in the region.  The Philippines and the U.S. recently agreed to increase the number of U.S. troops on rotational visits in addition to expanding U.S. access to ports and training in the country.  Japan and South Korea, two major U.S. security allies in the region, both agreed to help the Philippines bolster its defense capabilities.  On July 28, 2013, Japan and the Philippines signed a yen loan agreement to help pay for the transfer of ten patrol ships to the Philippine Navy, while the Philippine Air Force will soon acquire 12 FA-150 light fighter jets from South Korea to beef up it capacity in interdiction, training, and aerial surveillance.  On July 24, 2013, President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam visited Washington, D.C., the second visit by a Vietnam’s head of state since diplomatic ties were restored in 1995.  President Truong Tan Sang met with President Barack Obama and the two signed a new bilateral defense and security agreement to expand military cooperation.  This roundtable will explore reasons for China’s growing assertiveness, actions by the Philippines and Vietnam to counter China, and implications for U.S. security and diplomatic relations in the region.  Although different territories are involved in the disputes between China and Japan and between China and the Southeast Asian countries, China’s actions in one are closely watched for their implication in the other and motivating new or expanded security and defense relationships.

Admiral Patrick Walsh, U.S. Navy (Ret.) & Senior Fellow, Tower Center


Admiral Patrick Walsh recently served as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Prior to that assignment, he served as vice chief of Naval Operations and as a special assistant to the director of the Office of Management and Budget as a White House fellow. Walsh also has chaired the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law at the U.S. Naval Academy and directed the Navy Quadrennial Defense Review. He began his career as a Naval Aviator and flew with the Blue Angels. Walsh is highly decorated and has received numerous awards during his career, including two Distinguished Service Medals, the Defense Superior Service Medal, four Legion of Merit awards and two Meritorious Service Medals.

Carrie Currier, Director of Asian Studies & Associate Professor of Political Science, TCU

CurrierpiclargeCarrie Liu Currier (M.A., Ph.D. University of Arizona; B.A. University of Michigan) teaches courses in Asian politics, comparative politics, feminist international relations theory, international relations, and global political economy. Her research has generally focused on: 1) economic reform in China, to understand how developing countries are adapting to the demands of globalization, 2) China’s Foreign Policy with the Middle East, examining both arms transfers and the pursuit of energy, 3) China’s energy policy and pursuit of resources, 4) China’s one child policy and its social implications, and 5) the politics of entrepreneurship in Taiwan and China. Her publications include: a co-edited book (with Manochehr Dorraj) China’s Energy Relations with the Developing World, several book chapters, and several articles in the following journals: American Journal of Chinese Studies, Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, China Public Affairs Quarterly, Journal of Chinese Political Science, Journal of Women Politics and Policy, and Middle East Policy.

Anny Wong, Research Fellow, Tower Center


Anny Wong joined the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies as a Research Fellow in January 2013. Prior to moving to Dallas in the fall of 2012, she was a political scientist at the RAND Corporation in Arlington, VA and did policy research for a variety of clients including the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and Japan’s National Institute for Science and Technology.  She continues to consult at RAND, the World Bank, Freedom House, and other organizations, and is a Board Member of the Japan-America Society of Dallas Fort Worth.  Anny was an East-West Center Graduate Fellow in Honolulu, obtained her doctoral degree in political science from the University of Hawai’i a Manoa, and has worked, traveled and lived in many parts of Asia. She loves dogs, food, travel, and is a big fan of Asterix and Sherman’s Lagoon.

Hiroki Takeuchi, Assistant Professor of Political Science, SMU

HTakeuchiProfessor Takeuchi is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Fellow of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. His research and teaching interests include Chinese and Japanese politics, comparative political economy of authoritarian regimes, and international relations of East Asia, as well as applying game theory to political science. Professor Takeuchi is currently writing a book titled Rural Tax Reform in Contemporary China: Revenue, Resistance, and Authoritarian Rule.  Previously, he taught at UCLA as a faculty fellow in the Political Science Department and at Stanford University as postdoctoral teaching fellow in the Public Policy Program. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA.

Open only to Tower Center Forum members, SMU students, faculty and staff.

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 This event is supported with a grant from the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Public Education for Peacebuilding Support Initiative.