APPFI President Dr. Aileen Baviera was invited to present at a plenary session of the annual Asia-Pacific Roundtable organized by the Institute for Strategic and International Studies of Malaysia, in cooperation with the ASEAN ISIS network of think tanks. The APR was held from June 1-3 this year. Delivering the keynote address was Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The topic of Dr Baviera's panel was China's New Strategic Initiatives, and her paper expounded on these as well as explored the implications for Southeast Asia.

Below is an abstract of the presentation. The full text of the paper is available and downloadable at


Aileen S.P. Baviera, PhD,
Asian Center,
University of the Philippines

Based on a presentation made at the 29th Asia Pacific Roundtable, 2 June 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The current leadership of China has presented the international community with a vision of its desired global and regional order through its new strategic initiatives, including the One Road One Belt proposal for greater economic and people to people connectivity; establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; the “2+7” cooperation framework for China-Southeast Asia relations for the next decade; the enunciation of a “dual track” approach and hopes of building “a community of common destiny” in relation to ASEAN and the South China Sea; calls for a New Asian Security Concept, as well as a “new type of major power relations”; and active assertion and defense of its maritime claims.

In this brief presentation, I provide brief, preliminary and simplified analysis of what I perceive to be the driving forces and principal objectives of China. I argue six main points:

  1. China envisions itself growing into a power with global reach because of its global economic interests.

  2. To be a global power, China must have comprehensive attributes of power including capability, resources and the willingness to lead.

  3. To be a great power, other great powers must acknowledge China as an equal.

  4. Power ultimately requires leadership. To be a leader, one must have followers.

  5. Followers must be persuaded and enticed, in part by using leadership and power to provide public goods.

  6. If persuasion fails, coercion and threat of force is always an option. Ultimately, being a power is about protecting and promoting your own interests.

I then raise questions about what the general implications may be for Southeast Asia and the Philippines.