Meidi Kosandi - Conflict in the SCS Challenge to Cooperation

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     ASEAN-Canada Research Partnership Working Paper Series Working Paper No. 7  April 2014 Conflicts in the South China Sea and China- ASEAN Economic Interdependence:  A Challenge to Cooperation   Meidi Kosandi   ii This Working Paper Series present papers in a preliminary form and serves to stimulate comment and discussion. The views expressed are entirely the author’s own and not that of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). This paper is the outcome of research conducted by junior fellows of the 2012   – 2015  ASEAN-Canada Research Partnership with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada. It focuses on the theme of ‘Towards Bala nced Growth  –  Alternative Development Models and Redistribution Mechanisms’. The ASEAN-Canada Research Partnership was launched in January 2012 to mark the 35th  Anniversary of the ASEAN-Canada Dialogue Partnership. It is jointly conducted by the Institute of Asian Research (IAR), University of British Columbia (UBC), as well as the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). RSIS is the Coordinator of the initiative. It also serves as the Secretariat. Information on IAR UBC and RSIS may be found at  and  respectively Terms of Use This work is used with the permission of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). You are free to publish this material in its entirety or only in part in your newspapers, wire services, internet-based information networks and newsletters and you may use the information in your radio-TV discussions or as a basis for discussion in different fora, provided full credit is given to the author(s) and the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies. Kindly inform the publisher ( and provide details of when and where the publication was used. © S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies 2014 Recommended Citation Meidi Kosandi , ‘ Conflicts in the South China Sea and China-ASEAN Economic Interdependence: A Challenge to Cooperation ’ (ASEAN -Canada Working Paper Series no. 7, Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, 2014).     iii Abstract This paper analyzes the absence of correlation between China-ASEAN economic interdependence and dispute settlement in the South China Sea, against liberals’ prediction. It argues that there are a few trends in the dispute settlement process that reflects liberalist theory irrelevance, i.e. (1) the main feature of the dispute settlement is power politics; (2) the progress of multilateral arrangement for dispute settlement is constrained by unilateral policies; (3) the deepening economic integration and growing interdependence are intentionally maintained exclusive from and thus have little impact on the on-going disputes; and (4) the constrained multilateral arrangement through ASEAN invites further power politics between the claimants and actors from outside the region. It also argues that three factors have contributed to the trends: i.e. (1) power structure in the region; (2) divergence of each actor’s geopolitical interests and strategies in the So uth China Sea; (3) weak regional coherence and institutional design. Keywords: China, ASEAN, South China Sea, dispute settlement, economic interdependence, regional economic integration.   iv Biography Mr Meidi Kosandi (born May 13, 1976) is a researcher from the Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta. He obtained his bachelor  ’s  degree (2002) from the Universitas Indonesia; his MA (2007) from Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto; and PhD degree (2012) in International Relations from Ritsumeikan University. He served as Head of Planning and Development Office at the Universitas Indonesia (2010  –2012). His recent publications include “Japan’s Diplomatic Dilemma toward North Korea” (2008), “Parallel Evolution of Practice an d Research on  ASEAN Economic Integration: From Paradigm Contestation to Eclectic Theorizing” (2012), and “Shifting Paradigms and the Dynamics of Indonesia -China Relations: Towards the Best Use of Theoretical Eclecticism” (2013). The latest research he cond ucted was on “Cooperation and Development in the South China Sea: Coping with the Potential Hindrance of East Asian Integration”, under the ASEAN -Canada Junior Research Fellowship Program 2012  – 2013. In 2013, he also had served as policy advisor for Indonesian National Planning and Development Agency.
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