2nd XIPU Dialogue: China and the Re-Centering of Asia



China and the Re-Centering of Asia


Traditional China remained central to East and Central Asia despite centuries of discord as well as conquests by outsiders. While China’s internal cohesion and preponderance of power fluctuated, the three constants underlying its centrality were its presence (central location and absence of alternative centers), its population, and its productivity. In the modern era China was overpowered, but more importantly the West provided alternative presence and much greater productivity. In the current multinodal era China’s ambition is to re-establish its centrality. Presence returns as inclusive connectivity. Population returns as market. Production returns initially as manufactures but increasingly as technology and international services. But the diplomatic culture appropriate to globally inclusive Asian centricity is neither the paternalism of the tribute system nor the domination of modern imperialism. China’s major external challenge will be to avoid slipping into the traditional complacent view that centrality implies superiority.


Professor Adam Cross

Adam Cross is Professor of International Business and Inaugural Head of the Department of International Relations at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). Before joining this new department in April 2018, Adam served for more than four years as Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching at the International Business School Suzhou, XJTLU. Previously, Adam worked for 17 years at the Centre for International Business University of Leeds (CIBUL), UK. Adam has co-edited four books, and has contributed to more than fifty book chapters and articles in international peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, International Business Review, and Management International Review. His most recent textbook on International Business, co-authored with Prof. Peter Buckley (University of Leeds) and Prof. Peter Enderwick (Auckland University of Technology), was published by Oxford University Press (OUP) in 2018. Adam’s research currently focuses on the internationalization of Asian multinational firms, cross-border licensing and management of intellectual property, start-up ecosystems, technology adoption, and user innovation.


Professor BO Zhiyue

Professor BO Zhiyue is Director and Professor of XIPU Institution at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou, China. He obtained his Bachelor of Law and Master of Law in International Politics from Peking University and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

He has taught at Peking University, Roosevelt University, the University of Chicago, American University, St. John Fisher College, Tarleton State University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the National University of Singapore, and Victoria University of Wellington. He is a recipient of the Trustees’ Distinguished Scholar Award at St. John Fisher College and the inaugural holder of the Joe and Theresa Long Endowed Chair in Social Sciences at Tarleton State University. He has also been Visiting Distinguished Professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University and Chair Professor at both National Chengchi University and National Taiwan University. He is Founder and President of the Bo Zhiyue China Institute and was Director of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre.

His research interests include China’s elite politics, Chinese provincial leaders, central-local relations, cross-strait relations, Sino-U.S. relations, and global governance. He has published more than 200 book chapters and articles and nine books. His most recent books include China-US Relations in Global Perspective (2016) (edited) and China’s Political Dynamics under Xi Jinping (2017).

Professor Brantly Womack

Brantly Womack is Professor of Foreign Affairs and holds the Miller Center’s C K Yen Chair at the University of Virginia. He received his BA in politics and philosophy from the University of Dallas and his PhD in political science from University of Chicago. He was a Fulbright Scholar in philosophy at the University of Munich. He is the author of Asymmetry and International Relationships (Cambridge University Press, 2016), China Among Unequals: Asymmetric International Relationships in Asia (World Scientific Press 2010), and of China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry (Cambridge 2006), as well as over a hundred articles and book chapters. He co-edited with Yuk Wah Chan Borderlands in East and Southeast Asia (Routledge 2017), with Hao Yufan Rethinking the Triangle: Washington, Beijing, Taipei (University of Macau Press and World Scientific Press, 2016), edited China’s Rise in Historical Perspective (Rowman and Littlefield 2010) and Contemporary Chinese Politics in Historical Perspective (Cambridge 1991). In 2011 Womack received the China Friendship Award for his work with Chinese universities. He holds honorary positions at Jilin University, East China Normal University, and Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) University. He has been a visiting research professor at the East Asia Institute of National University of Singapore, East China Normal University, and China Foreign Affairs University.