On November 8, 2011, the seminar on ‘Asia-Europe Regional Conformity’ was held in the Anniversary Hall of Peking University. The seminar was funded by the MacArthur Foundation’s “Asia Security Initiative Project” and was jointly presented by the Department of Political Science at Tunghai University and the School of International Studies(SIS) at Peking University. Professor Lian Yuru, the Dean of the Center for German Studies of SIS, and the Associate Director of the Department of International Politics chaired the seminar, which was attended by around 10 scholars from Tunghai University of Taiwan, Peking University and Renmin University. The one-day seminar focused on three key areas:“Regional Conformity: Theory and Practice”, “Regional Conformity: East Asia” and “Regional Conformity: Europe”.
The scholars presented their own ideas from the differing perspectives of liberal intergovernmentalism, functionalism, realism, institutionalism and so on. They engaged in discussion on the impact of the European model on regional conformity, the ‘twin-track’ approach of economic and security cooperation in the process of East Asian regional conformity, the role of China and Taiwan and cross-strait ties in East Asian regional conformity and the interaction between European and East Asian regional conformity, putting forward many new ideas and innovative research thinking. The scholars believe that the European model for regional integration has its own unique background, thus it is unlikely that this model can be successfully applied to Asia. However, Europe’s experience can still be useful in devising a strategy to promote East Asian regional conformity and, where possible, we should seek to find ways to adapt the successes of the European example to this region. In comparison with Europe, East Asia has a more complicated history and greater cultural diversity, which renders regional cooperation more difficult to achieve. Thus creative and inclusive thinking is needed to attain a higher degree of regional conformity.
At the end of the seminar, Professor Song Xingzhou, the Dean of the Department of Political Science at Tunghai University and Professor Wang Yizhou, the Associate Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, gave a summary statement. Professor Song posed the question, “what is the purpose of East Asian regional conformity?” Professor Wang stated that this was an excellent beginning to academic exchanges between the two universities, and said that this kind of discussion between scholars was important in finding solutions regarding the future of cross-strait relations. He hoped that communication and cooperation between scholars would deepen and also stressed the importance of increased contact between the students of the two universities.