Since the 1990s, China has expanded its regional engagement strategies in Southeast Asia. One such approach is track 2 diplomacy which focuses on multilateral security dialogues and aims to support and strengthen official diplomacy. An important question related to China's choice of track 2 diplomacy is the role of non-traditional security (NTS) in regional security issues shared by China and ASEAN, and how these issues have been framed by China to connect the NTS agenda to its national security. Through securitization theory, this article looks at three areas of China-ASEAN relations where track 2 diplomacy has been utilized: (1) the South China Sea (SCS) issue, (2) transnational crimes and counterterrorism, and (3) subregional cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This study finds that securitizing these areas has led to the inclusion of the NTS agenda in China’s regional diplomatic strategies which, in turn, has led to track 2 diplomacy becoming a viable response to the emerging NTS threats in these regional security issues.
Aletheia Kerygma B. Valenciano, University of the Philippines Diliman, Philippines
See this presentation on the full schedule – Thursday Schedule