Summit scopes power shifts in the Asia-Pacific

Power shifts within the Asia-Pacific region will be the focus of a major conference at Victoria University of Wellington this week.

The QS Subject Focus Summit brings together a range of international experts to discuss China’s rise, the emerging rivalry between China and India , as well issues like migration, climate change, and the future for the Asia-Pacific economy.   

With the US influence in decline across the region, China has now stepped to the fore, and that move has had global impacts.

One of the conference organisers, Dr Alexander Bukh, said power shifts in the region are most keenly felt in the Asia-Pacific region.

“These days the rise of China and the various ways that plays out top the agenda of policy-makers across the region, and scholars of regional politics globally."

“China’s rise poses important questions,” he added, “Looking at the implications of the shift in power from the US to China, it poses a whole lot of questions about the future of the region, and the exact nature of power in the 21st century.”

Participants include world authorities Professor Emeritus Rosemary Foot from the University of Oxford, currently Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations, and Dr Yuen Foong Khong, Li Ka Shing Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore.

Also attending is Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, who will give the Pacific keynote address.

Panel discussions will canvass subjects such as climate change and migration across the Asia-Pacific region, the future of the “rules based” system of international relations, and the strategies being employed by smaller nations to deal with the power shift in the region.

Bukh says the two-day event is a rare opportunity to hear from some of the best thinking on current issues facing the region.

”What is the role of middle powers? How does the shifting balance of power effect policy making over some of these non-traditional security issues? These are just some of the questions the summit will look into.“   

- Asia Media Centre