China Governs Borderless Threats: Non-Traditional Security in the Mekong
Room 321, Level 3
Sidney Myer Asia Centre
China is often seen as a 'Westphalian' state, clinging resolutely to sovereignty and non-interference. This is typically seen as a liability in an era where practically every problem appears to be transnational, requiring often-intrusive forms of interstate cooperation to address.
In reality, however, China is increasingly softening its approach to non-interference and extending its governance frontier beyond its borders to manage perceived threats to important interests. This presentation will discuss this phenomenon in general and provide a detailed case study of Chinese efforts to stem the influx of illegal narcotics from the golden triangle by launching opium substitution projects and joint anti-piracy patrols on the Mekong river. The specific interests involved in these governance projects shape their practical implementation, however, leading to results that are often not intended by Beijing.