Pacific Rim Report No. 49, August 2007
The ‘Pacific Century’ Revisited: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 
by Edward D. Melillo, Ph.D. and Thomas S. Wilkins, Ph.D.
This issue of Pacific Rim Report focuses in significant part on the rise of China and a Chinese-led ‘Pacific Century’. We are pleased to feature it as part of our Center’s ‘China focus’ in this report series. The article was co-authored by Edward D. Melillo and Thomas S. Wilkins during the 2006-07 academic year when they were in residence at the USF Center as Kiriyama Visiting Research Fellows and as a result of their respective research projects.
Edward D. Melillo is currently visiting assistant professor of history at Oberlin College. He is a specialist in the history of the Pacific World, global environmental history, Chinese history, and 19th century US history. Melillo received a Ph.D. in 2007 from Yale University with a dissertation on the trans-Pacific ecological and cultural relationship between Chile and California during the 19th century, the topic of his further research at USF as a Kiriyama Fellow. His book on Pacific origins and the role of Chile in the making of 19th century California is forthcoming from Duke University Press.
Thomas S. Wilkins is assistant professor of political science at the University of Salford in the UK where he specializes in international security studies, international relations, and military history. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham in 2006 with a dissertation on coalition warfare and a framework for analysis of such warfare. He is currently finishing a book on “Systems of Alignment in the Asia-Pacific”, the topic of his research at USF. Tom Wilkins will continue as a Kiriyama Visiting Research Fellow at the USF Center in 2007-08 and will teach a course on the international relations of the Asia Pacific.
We gratefully acknowledge the Kiriyama Chair for Pacific Rim Studies for the support that has made possible the publication of this issue of Pacific Rim Report.
Introduction: The Shifting Fortunes of a Concept
Since the 1800s, the prospect of an impending ‘Pacific Century’ has energized explorers, politicians, activists, financiers, and academics. In this article we investigate from different disciplinary perspectives the ways in which the concept has been employed to predict future trends, reflect present realities, and assess historical patterns. Indeed, according to Mark Borthwick, director of the U.S. Asia Pacific Council, although the notion of a ‘Pacific Century’ is “used most frequently with reference to the future, the term more accurately reflects the past.” In addition to evaluating previous treatments of the Pacific Century idea, we offer two contrasting, but related, perspectives on the directions in which this potent concept could be taken. We jointly conclude that the Pacific Century is more than just a “catchphrase for an Asian economic renaissance.” Instead, we suggest that it offers a powerful analytical lens from which to review the development of international relations in the Pacific region. In order to demonstrate the possibilities of this new vantage point, we focus on China’s role in shaping past and future Pacific Centuries.
The consensus behind the notion of a Pacific Century is “that the center of gravity of the global economy is shifting towards the Pacific Region, and that an increasingly integrated Pacific Region is emerging.” Rosemary Foot and Andrew Walter contend that “the concept of the Pacific Century…reached its zenith in the late 1980s,” when employment of the term became ubiquitous. In this instance, it was the dramatic rise of Japanese economic power that caught the world’s attention. But Tokyo’s ‘economic miracle’ was soon followed by the emergence of economic powerhouses such as South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. With confidence in the maverick Asian ‘Tiger economies’ at an all time high, articles such as a piece in the Far Eastern Economic Review entitled “‘93: The Pacific Century” assured readers, “As we enter 1994, the economic progress that has made Asia the envy of the world shows little sign of retreat.”
In similar fashion, the US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) aired a television series entitled The Pacific Century and based on books by Mark Borthwick and Frank Gibney. The notion rapidly achieved wide currency in popular and academic circles as analysts began to advocate the idea that the Pacific Basin was becoming the focal point of global economic growth. As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon put it, “Encompassing half of the landmass of the world, home to 42 percent of world population, and constituting 57 percent of world GDP and 46 percent of world trade, the [Pacific] region is indeed on the rise.”
According to Foot and Walter, “The first half of the 1990s marked the blossoming of the ‘Pacific Dream’ when the terms future, prosperity and Asia-Pacific became almost synonymous.” That dream came to an untimely end in 1997 when the world awoke to the economic devastation of the ‘Asian Financial Crisis’. As faith in the Asian economic miracle plummeted, talk of the Pacific Century all but disappeared. A few years after it was said to have begun, the era of the Asia-Pacific became the subject of obituaries in the pages of the world’s newspapers. As Robert A. Manning noted in the Los Angeles Times, the financial crisis of the 1996-97 “zapped the once buoyant confidence of Asian tigers who boasted of a coming ‘Pacific Century,’ plunging these nations into uncharted waters, with little more than the International Monetary Fund as a compass.” Morton Abramowitz concurred in The Washington Post, remarking, “Asia’s economies ran ahead of their political and institutional growth, and aspirations to regionalism ran ahead of their development as nation states.”
Nevertheless, the underlying notion of a power-shift towards the Pacific region was not entirely extinguished by this dramatic fiscal interruption. As the financial woes of the great Asian powers have begun to recede, China has blazed its own trail toward economic superpower status. Consequently, interest in the Pacific Century ideas has reawakened. This is therefore an opportune moment to reevaluate the notion and the possibilities it harbors.
Despite the newfound popularity of Pacific-Century terminology, the idea of a global Pacific destiny has an extensive pedigree. Writing in 1850, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels sounded a prescient note when they contended: “Thanks to California gold and the tireless energy of the Yankees, both coasts of the Pacific Ocean will soon be populous, as open to trade and industrialised as the coast from Boston to New Orleans is now. And then the Pacific Ocean will have the same role as the Atlantic has now and the Mediterranean had in antiquity and the Middle Ages – that of the great water highway of world commerce; and the Atlantic will decline to the status of an inland sea, like the Mediterranean nowadays.” On June 11, 1997, nearly 150 years after Europe’s theorists of revolution had penned their paean to the Pacific, William Cohen told a meeting of the Asia Society in Washington, D.C. that “the Mediterranean is the ocean of the past, the Atlantic is the ocean of the present, and the Pacific is the ocean of the future.” Cohen’s choice of words provided apt evidence for the longevity of an ever-popular concept. Clinton’s Secretary of Defense was quoting a statement that William McKinley’s Secretary of State John Hay had made in 1900.
Since the Nineteenth Century, the basic idea of a Pacific-centered future has variously been termed a Pacific Age, a Pacific Era, a Pacific Civilization, or a Pacific Community. Its latest appellation, an Asia-Pacific Century, is championed by the Asia Society of New York. These thematic variations each involve nuanced new permutations on a central thesis. We have decided here to employ the term ‘Pacific Century’ both as a departure point from which to frame the debate and as an umbrella term to broadly encompass the differentiations above. A generation after this major revival of the concept, we feel it is timely to revisit the notion and to consider if it still retains its value and pertinence to the study of the Pacific region in the past, present, and future. Through this process we hope to stimulate thought and debate about the Pacific Century with all of its connotations.
The challenge of precisely formulating the Pacific Century concept raises a number of questions. Like so many notions in the realm of the social sciences, it is an essentially contested concept. In order to further explore its significance and offer a clearer definition of what features it might encompass we consider three dimensions that are required to make it meaningful: ideological (an ‘idea’), temporal (a ‘time’), and spatial (a ‘place’).
1. An ‘Idea’
The notion of Pacific Century is an ideological construct. It bespeaks a vision of inexorable progress toward an ideal end-state. Briefly put, this means that a paradigm shift has occurred, is occurring, or will occur in international politics in which the geo-economic and geo-political center of gravity undergoes a shift from the Western Atlantic World to the Asian Pacific World. The dynamism of the Asian ‘economic miracles’ and the alleged superiority of ‘Confucian’ and ‘state-developmental’ social models act as the contemporary drivers behind this shift. Though much of the argument hinges on confidence in inexorable economic progress, Borthwick argues that in recent years “political obstacles to cooperation have diminished, giving rise to ‘regionalist’ perspectives in national capitals throughout Pacific Asia.” The development of ASEAN, APEC, and other international fora would seem to substantiate this claim. Finally, the ideology of an “Asian way” lends some purported theoretical underpinnings to the notion. This view, first articulated by the premiers of Malaysia and Singapore, Mahathir Mohamad, and Lee Kwan Yew, posits that Asian culture is proving superior to the Liberal Democratic Western model. Amitav Acharya also makes the case that “the ‘Asian way’ is diffusing across the Pacific Rim evolving into the ‘Asia-Pacific Way’.”
On the basis of these indicators and values, advocates of the Pacific Century idea believe that the prominence of the Atlantic World has been, or soon will be, eclipsed by the Pacific nations. Seema Desai contends that “the ascent of the Asian giants [China and India] parallels historical episodes, such as the Industrial Revolution, or Meiji Restoration in Japan, in terms of the scope for disruption and impact on the global economic and political order.” This will have stark repercussions for the whole Westphalian-based international system as it stands today.
2. A ‘Time’
Secondly, we must consider the temporal question. What time period, or epoch, is most appropriate to assign to the Pacific Century? Since the notion inextricably binds itself to a century, we are charged with denoting a clear-cut 100 year period to fit the ideological conception. Determining when the Pacific Century will occur, or has occurred, is a tricky proposition. Writing in 1992 Frank Gibney and Mark Borthwick branded the 20th century as the Pacific Century. They presented a strong case, arguing that the period of sequential Japanese, Korean and Chinese economic modernizations from the 1960s to the 1990s, plus the rise of other the newly-industrializing economies such as Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, was ushering in the Pacific Century. Borthwick declaimed that “the next century may bear the sobriquet of the great ocean, but it will be the product of the century that is now passing.”
Alternatively, international historians have taken the turn of the Twentieth Century as the beginning point for the ‘rise of the East’ and the corresponding ‘descent of the West’. In Niall Ferguson’s view, Japan’s defeat of Tsarist Russia in 1905 signaled the beginning of this trend. If pressed, most IR scholars would probably concur that the Twenty First Century should be dubbed the Pacific Century. In this respect Borthwick and Gibney’s concentration on the late Twentieth Century is relevant as these years ‘primed the pump’ of the materializing Twenty First Century Pacific era.
Yet it is not essential to be bound by millennial mileposts of the Gregorian Calendar. The notion of a Pacific Century as a literal 100-year bloc permits us to determine a starting point in 1980, for example, but without a perspective from 2080 it is impossible to be anything more than conjectural. Following a loose interpretation, it does not even have to equal precisely 100 years. Consider for example the so-called ‘Hundred’ Years War (1337-1453) or Eric Hobsbawn’s The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991, in terms of academic composition. Indeed, centuries are, themselves, a Western conceit. Although Asian civilizations, such as the Chinese, adopted the century (or shiji) in the Twentieth Century, such hundred-year units of time were hardly ever used outside of the West until recently. Of course, there is one last constituency we must take into account-–those skeptics who believe that a “Pacific Century” is a grand delusion! Writing in 1999 Rosemary Foot and Andrew Walter declare that “the Pacific century has not arrived and is not likely any time soon.”
3. A ‘Place’
Before embarking upon such a discussion, we must first briefly establish the parameters of the ‘Pacific region’ to which we refer. While such boundaries may seem self-evident, there is little consensus on this issue. The terms ‘Asia-Pacific’ and ‘Pacific Rim’ appear to be the most popular terms for classifying the region, but ‘Pacific Asia’ and ‘Pacific Basin’ also occur with frequency. The first of these descriptive labels tends to signify all the states of the Western seaboard of the Pacific Ocean, plus the Indian subcontinent (‘South Asia’) and the United States. The remainder of the Americas and the Pacific islands figure only in the most marginal capacity, if at all. ‘Pacific Rim’, however, would not include any state that does not border on the ocean and would reinstate the importance of Latin America, while excluding India and land-locked Asia.
Encompassing one third of the earth’s surface, the Pacific Ocean has long served as both a convenient bridge and a seemingly insurmountable chasm among a vast array of peoples and diverse cultures. Both of us approach this vast sea, its coastline, and its islands from a transnational perspective that emphasizes long-term interactions among multiple states and diverse communities. Transnational scholarship has often dealt with the restrictions and opportunities that vast bodies of water have afforded past civilizations. Fernand Braudel’s Mediterranean, the well-developed field of Atlantic World Studies, and K.N. Chaudhuri’s innovative work on the Indian Ocean exemplify this tendency. Scholars have only recently begun to appreciate the Pacific Ocean as its own “coherent unit of analysis,” a starting point for inquiry and a basis for making historical, contemporary, and future connections.
From the Coffin to the Stove – China’s First Pacific Century, 1842-1949: A Historical Perspective
By Edward D. Melillo, Ph.D.
Pundits and policy makers are notoriously poor prophets. As the editor of Foreign Affairs pointed out in 1998, “Who called the East Asian crisis? Or the collapse of the Soviet Union? Yugoslavia’s demise or Mexico’s crash? Japan’s swift transformation from global economic powerhouse to financial wreck? No one.” Rather than successfully foretelling the future, those who wager on geo-political fortunes do a far better job of revealing their own biases and aspirations.
Describing this autobiographical tendency of political divination, Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci noted, “Anybody who makes a prediction has in fact a ‘programme’ for whose victory he is working, and his prediction is precisely’ an element contributing to that victory.” The advocates of a nascent ‘Pacific Century’ have offered telling proof of Gramsci’s theory. In the 1980s and early 1990s, political commentators issued oracular pronouncements about Asia’s emerging powerhouse nations, dubbing them ‘Tiger Economies’, ‘Asian Dragons’, ‘Flying Geese’, and ‘Rising Phoenixes’. As we have noted, the chief promoters of this novel taxonomy were Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad, and Indonesia’s Suharto, autocratic leaders with immense personal stakes in the success of Confucian-inspired dirigisme. During the Asian financial crisis of 1997-99, an economic landscape filled with collapsing currencies, bank failures, debilitated stock markets, and bankrupt firms suggested that this Pacific Rim menagerie had relied upon a surfeit of myths to cover up a shortage of miracles.
More recently, purveyors of an imagined shift in the world’s geo-political center of gravity have reflected either an underlying anxiety or a public euphoria about the decline of U.S. hegemonic power and the growth of Chinese dominance in the Asia-Pacific Zone. The dire warnings or emerging hopes that emanate from these trans-oceanic forecasts are, without fail, programmatic statements intended to steer various actors towards recognition of their respective positions in Pacific affairs. Yet most of these agenda-driven assertions lack historical specificity because their authors have failed to rigorously analyze the internal contradictions that govern the rise and fall of Pacific powers. In assessing the decline of the United States or the emergence of China as the dominant regional player in the Pacific world, few scholars have paid attention to the remarkable hundred-year period prior to the Second World War. Between the 1840s and the 1940s, China underwent a century-long transformation, which radically altered its interactions with its Pacific Rim neighbors and set the stage for its global relations in the post-war era.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would later refer to this 100-year period as their nation’s ‘century of shame and humiliation’, During the years from the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842 to the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, China’s long-standing imperial infrastructure succumbed to domestic turmoil and foreign aggression. Yet throughout this phase of unprecedented turbulence, Chinese migrant workers remade the entire Pacific world. Although their labor was instrumental to the development of frontier zones throughout the Americas, these men and women were treated disgracefully in the societies to which they immigrated. In recent decades, Chinese workers have once again become a driving force in the world system. Indeed, they may play more of a significant role than previously understood in determining the character of future ‘Pacific Centuries’.
Out of the Coffin
On June 14, 1853, the New York Daily Tribune’s foreign correspondent, Karl Marx, wrote that “complete isolation was the prime condition of the preservation of Old China. That isolation having come to a violent end by the medium of England, dissolution must follow as surely as that of any mummy carefully preserved in a hermetically sealed coffin, whenever it is brought into contact with the open air.” The open air to which the German political philosopher alluded was, of course, the chill wind of British imperialism. At the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing, which ended the First Opium War (1839-42), the British forced the Qing Empire to accept territorial concessions and commercial compromises that exposed Chinese markets to the insatiable appetite of foreign capital.
China’s economic isolation was not the only well-preserved tradition to wither in the encounter with western capitalism and its attendant vision of modernity. The calendar of the Middle Kingdom also underwent profound changes. Prior to the 1900s, the Chinese had rarely divided time into 100-year blocks. The traditional Chinese calendar, dating back to 2637 B.C.E., was a combined lunar-solar calendar known as the yin-yang li. It was based on 60-year cycles. In addition, the Chinese had long followed a regnal system in which their historical epochs corresponded to the durations of imperial dynasties. Thus, from the Warring States Period in the 5th century B.C.E. until the 1911 Revolution, dynastic transitions served as key sign posts in the passage of time. All of this changed with the end of the imperial era and the adoption of western approaches to timekeeping. By 1912, the Chinese had replaced the yin-yang li and the regnal system with the Gregorian calendar. Along with this new method of dividing time came the Western concept of the century, or shiji.
A Century of Shame and Humiliation
From 1949 onwards, Chinese intellectuals and party cadres used the notion of shiji when referring to the period that followed the Treaty of Nanjing. To them, this era constituted a ‘century of shame and humiliation’. Reflecting on the years from the 1840s to the 1940s, CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang told the Twelfth Party Congress on September 1, 1982: “Having suffered aggression and oppression for over a century, the Chinese people will never again allow themselves to be humiliated as they were before, nor will they subject other nations to such humiliation.” In the official view, the Communist victory in 1949 ended this devastating hundred-year period and heralded the beginning of a new epoch in which China would steadily move towards independence and self-reliance.
The goal of overcoming a century of abuse at the hands of unscrupulous foreigners served as an expedient means for the CCP leadership to rally a geographically diffuse and poorly educated population. Curiously, the notion of a ‘century of shame and humiliation’ relied upon a western unit of time grafted onto the contours of Chinese history. Although it was an imported ideological construct, this pre-1949 shiji was not a groundless fabrication, for it drew upon the actual historical experiences of many Chinese. Between the 1842 and 1949, China underwent numerous episodes of foreign incursion into its national territory and domestic affairs. The devastating opium trade of the late 1800s, the destruction of China’s Beiyang Naval Fleet in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), the severe reparations paid to foreign governments in the wake of the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), the transfer of former German concessions in Shandong to the Japanese in Article 156 of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the Nanjing Massacre of 1937-38, and the Japanese occupation of Manchuria from 1932 to 1945 left indelible marks on the collective psyche of the Chinese people.
China’s Pacific Century
Yet when we approach this shiji from beyond China’s borders, it takes on a different tenor. Set in the more expansive context of the Pacific world, the ‘century of shame and humiliation’ proves to be a phase of global history in which the Chinese people exerted unprecedented influence over the trajectory of the world system and an era in which Chinese laborers, both indentured and free, remade the entire Pacific region. In many ways, an undeniably Chinese ‘Pacific Century’ began in the mid-1800s and closed with the Communist victory in 1949.
The making of this historical Pacific Century depended upon the back-breaking exertions of millions of Chinese who left their home communities to join one of the most far-reaching labor migrations in world history. This astounding extension of human labor power outward from China’s shores shaped landscapes, economies, cultures, and societies throughout the Pacific world. In the following section, I focus on Chinese laborers who migrated to Hawaii and the west coast of the Americas during the Nineteenth Century.
A number of scholars have called attention to ‘the Chinese Diaspora’, or the mass emigration of Chinese from the 1960s onwards. Yet, an earlier wave of departures from China’s port cities was arguably more important to the development of the capitalist world system. During the 1850s, the so-called ‘coolie labor system’ supplanted the African slave trade as a means for capitalists and their state sponsors to access cheap, unskilled labor with which to implement their economic ventures in colonies and frontier regions throughout the Pacific world.
British imperial officials were instrumental in orchestrating this shift from the trans-Atlantic African slave trade to the trans-Pacific traffic in Asian indentured laborers. Nominally, Chinese migration followed the imperatives of ‘free labor’, or contractual wage work with the ‘freedom’ to quit. Lord John Russell, the British Foreign Secretary, maintained that his country’s encouragement of the coolie trade represented a decisive stand for abolitionism and free labor when he wrote on July 11, 1860, “Her Majesty’s government, therefore propose, with a view to the final extinction of the Slave Trade…A plan of emigration from China regulated by agents of the European nations in conjunction with the Chinese authorities.” Despite Russell’s bravado, countless testimonials concerning the brutal realities of the trans-Pacific debt peonage system belied such emancipatory claims. As Rebecca Scott has demonstrated, the Chinese who were shipped to Latin America in the 1800s were treated “as slaves by an incomparably barbarous group of foreigners who refused to recognize them as free men.”
Many Chinese migrant laborers were initially unaware of the harsh conditions they would face. The men, women, and children who left China in search of work came from a handful of rural counties in a 10,000 square kilometer region west of the Pearl River Delta. Once migrants had made their way to Xiamen (Amoy), Shantou (Swatow), or Hong Kong, they arranged with a labor contractor for passage to one of numerous destinations in the Pacific or the Caribbean. Between 1876 and 1898, more than 2.75 million Chinese left their country from one of these three ports.
“La Trata Amarilla”
In Latin America’s port cities, the arrival of Chinese workers during the mid-1800s was known as la trata amarilla, or ‘the Yellow Trade’. During the 1850s, the Panama Railroad Company hired 700 Chinese to construct its tracks across the Isthmus. The company paid a Canton labor contractor $25.00 per month for each worker. After the Chinese middleman had charged laborers for their ocean passage and rations, the remaining salary was negligible. As a result, the lives of Chinese railroad workers in Panama rarely led beyond destitution, opium addiction, or suicide. On May 18, 1854, the editors of La Estrella de Panama wrote: “We frequently see in the streets some of the Chinese laborers contracted for the railroad, begging for food; and although we are sure that those who do it is due to desertion from their job, we cannot but raise our voices in favor of these wretched persons.” The same newspaper subsequently reported that Chinese workers frequently committed suicide by hanging, disembowelment, or starvation.
Conditions in Peru were hardly better. Although the Peruvian government abolished slavery in 1854, it saw no contradiction in committing itself to the traffic of coerced Chinese workers. Between 1847 and 1874, more than 92,000 coolies from southern China arrived at the Peruvian ports of Callao and Paita aboard North American and British ships. “Vessels, it appears, are equipped for the business upon the model of slave ships,” explained a writer for the New York Daily Times in 1853. The story, entitled “The Asiatic Slave Trade,” continued, “The victims–-men, and even children-–are kidnapped. They are crowded down between low decks, where any other than a prone or sitting posture is out of the question.” One in every 10 of these men and boys died in the trans-Pacific passage, while those who did survive the harrowing journey ended up as indentured laborers on Peruvian sugar and cotton plantations.
Thousands of others carried out the humiliating task of digging powdery sea-bird feces from atop Peru’s guano-covered Chincha Islands. British companies shipped the nitrogen-rich fertilizer to farms throughout North America and Western Europe, thereby underwriting the transformations in agricultural output that accompanied the Industrial Revolution. Although contractors promised coolies their freedom after several years of labor, this eventuality hardly ever came to pass. Many Chinese perished in the harsh, unsanitary conditions of the plantations and guano islands. Eventually, a handful of Chinese migrant workers managed to climb the Peruvian social ladder to become shopkeepers, traders, textile merchants, teachers, and writers. Others found business opportunities as proprietors of the some 2,000 extant chifas—or Chinese restaurants-–in the ‘Barrio Chino de Lima’, a neighborhood which ranks among the earliest Chinatowns in the Western Hemisphere.
The Chinese in Hawaii
Elsewhere in the Pacific world, Chinese workers also moved from plantation labor to entrepreneurial occupations. Before the United States seized Hawaii in 1898, the Hawaiian monarchy (and the republic from 1893 onwards) encouraged the influx of Chinese migrants. Between 1865 and 1899, at least 36,000 Chinese came to Hawaii, principally to serve as contract laborers on sugar plantations. Over the long run, Chinese farmers independently developed the local cultivation of rice, taro, and tobacco. They were also instrumental in the expansion of Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry, and many of them opened business in Hawaiian towns and cities. As early as 1889, Chinese entrepreneurs held 23.5 percent of the licenses for wholesale merchants, 62 percent of the licenses for retail merchants, and 84.7 percent of the licenses for restaurant operators in Hawaii.
Despite their contributions to Hawaiian society, the Chinese faced intractable discrimination from many white settlers. In 1884 the Anglo-American editors of the Hawaiian Monthly opined, “The presence of these hordes of Chinese males among a people of the lax ideas of the Hawaiians means widespread demoralization of native females and this in turn means the decay and death of then native peoples.” This would not be the last time the Chinese were associated with the decline of social morality. Anti-Chinese sentiments such as these circulated throughout the Americas.
The Chinese in North America
On the North American mainland, Chinese laborers faced similar patterns of prejudice to those they experienced in other regions of the Pacific World. The white editor of one California newspaper maintained “That [the Chinaman] is a slave, reduced to the lowest terms of beggarly economy, and is no fit competitor for an American freeman….That his sister is a prostitute from instinct, religion, education, and interest, and degrading to all around her.” Such characterizations of the Chinese as depraved creatures were especially ironic, given the fact that their diligent labor was so instrumental to the expansion of North American capitalism.
Until 1849 few Chinese had set foot in North America. Reports of James W. Marshall’s discovery of gold on California’s American River in the winter of 1848 sparked an unprecedented global convergence of prospectors on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. During the 30 years from the Gold Rush to the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, at least 317,000 Chinese came to the United States. In 1853, a British official in Hong Kong contrasted the indentured servitude of the Chinese who had been brought to Latin America with “The Chinese emigration to California [which] is almost wholly confined to independent emigrants who pay their own passage money, and are in a condition to look to their arrangements.”
After arriving in the U.S., the Chinese became miners, laundrymen, farm laborers, merchants, fishermen, masons, seamstresses, prostitutes, cooks, and railroad workers. The merging of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads into North America’s first transcontinental train service depended upon the labor of ‘The Army of Canton in the High Sierra’. Chinese workers comprised as much as 90 percent of the Central Pacific Railroad’s workforce. Sparsely clad in canvas shoes, blue jeans, and cotton jackets, they lowered each other into crevasses to dynamite pathways through the mountainous terrain. Accidents were commonplace, and brutal winter storms created especially treacherous conditions. As one California newspaper reported on Christmas Day, 1866, “a gang of Chinamen employed by the railroad were covered up by a snow slide and four or five died before they could be exhumed.” Despite their toil and suffering, not a single Chinese worker was allowed to attend the driving of the ‘golden spike’ that officially united the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 at Promontory Summit, Utah.
Chinese women were also hidden from view by those who exploited their labor. Some took factory jobs, sewed, or cooked, while others worked as the first prostitutes on North America’s western shores. A few managed to ascend San Francisco’s social ladder by selling their services to the city’s wealthier men. “The first Chinese courtesan who came to San Francisco was Ah Toy,” wrote Elisha Oscar Crosby. The former New York lawyer continued, “She arrived I think in 1850 and was a very handsome Chinese girl. She was quite select in her associates, was liberally patronized by the white men and made a great amount of money.” Cases like Ah Toy’s were anomalous, however. Most Chinese prostitutes in the American West were forced into service by labor contractors and died young of disease or starvation. In an ongoing omission that assured the enduring anonymity of these women, the mainstream press rarely recorded their deaths.
Arts of Resistance
Despite attempts to render them invisible, the Chinese who traversed the Pacific Ocean were by no means a passive horde who accepted the cruel strictures of debt peonage. Their resistance took many forms, including legal challenges to discriminatory practices, workplace organizing, uprisings, and shipboard mutinies. As one maritime historian noted, the “rising of the coolies was the one terror that ever stalked the captain of a Chinese coolie ship.” During the three decades of the coolie trade, upwards of 68 mutinies transpired aboard the vessels that carried Chinese laborers to the Western shores of the Pacific. This amounted to an average of one mutiny for every eleven such voyages and resulted in the deaths of at least 4,000 migrants, twelve captains, and 200 sailors.
On land, Chinese workers also resorted to outright rebellion against their employers. As the occupying Chilean army marched through Peru during the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chinese farm laborers revolted against their masters, sacking plantations and destroying estates. In the process, several thousand of them joined the invading Chilean Army and helped ensure its victory over Peruvian and Bolivian forces.
In North America, Chinese workers began to demonstrate against exploitative labor conditions as early as 1860. Although mainstream labor unions such as the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor (AFL) barred Chinese workers from joining their ranks, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) willingly accepted their membership. As IWW organizer J.H. Walsh wrote in 1908, “The Japanese and Chinese can be organized as rapidly as any other nationality, and when once pledged to stand with you, no fear or doubt need to be entertained as to them, during labor trouble.”
Chinese-American workers also organized their own unions. From its inception in 1933 until the FBI red-baited its members during the McCarthy Era, the Chinese Hand Laundry Alliance (CHLA) offered a model of political autonomy and grassroots organizing for New York’s Chinese American community. The CHLA challenged discriminatory business ordinances in court, raised money for the Chinese resistance to the Japanese invasion, and contested the dominance of the older and more autocratic Chinese benevolent associations.
Anglo reactions to Chinese labor organizing efforts were often swift and violent. On September 2, 1885 a group of unarmed Chinese coal miners gathered at Rock Springs, Wyoming to agitate for salaries equal to those of the white counterparts. In response to the Chinese demonstration, a mob of white men massacred twenty-eight of them.
Anti-immigrant violence also cloaked itself in legal garb. While the U.S. Government declared the ‘opening’ of new doors to global trade in the Pacific region, it continued to shut its own Pacific border to foreigners whenever it saw fit. Exaggerated claims about the so-called ‘Yellow Peril’ streaming through America’s western gates prompted Congress to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which mandated that “from and after the expiration of ninety days next after the passage of this act, and until the expiration of ten years next after the passage of this act, the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States be, and the same is hereby, suspended; and during such suspension it shall not be lawful for any Chinese laborer to come.” The Act was not formally repealed until 1943 when China was a U.S. ally in the Second World War.
“To Build a New Stove”
On October 1, 1949, just six years after the U.S. Government rescinded the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It was not Marx’s ‘open coffin’ but Mao’s ‘closed stove’ that served as the operative metaphor for China’s new leadership. In 1952 Premier Zhou Enlai described the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign policy agenda over the previous four years as lingqi luzao, or “to build a new stove.” In other words, the Communists had articulated a fundamentally new basis for diplomatic relations from the one employed by their imperial predecessors. This break from the past amounted to an inward-looking approach to policy matters, one that would dispense with the ‘century of shame and humiliation’.
In recent years, however, Chinese workers have experienced new forms of shame and humiliation from within the confines of their nation. These have included cracks in the so-called ‘iron rice bowl’-–the cradle-to-grave social safety net through which the state had formerly guaranteed job security, income levels, and pension benefits. In China’s teeming metropolises, a generation of workers has experienced a dramatic restructuring of industrial employment, one which sociologist Ching Kwan Lee has characterized as a shift “from organized dependence to disorganized despotism.” As it did at the beginning of China’s Pacific Century, foreign capital is once again flowing into China’s southern provinces. The restructuring of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) into private companies geared towards the attraction of transnational corporations (TNCs) has frequently led to mass layoffs, drastic wage reductions, widespread violations of labor laws, and instances of slave labor that hark back to the brutality of the coolie trade.
Chinese workers have responded to deteriorating workplace conditions with increasing intensity and organizational capacity. As the Chinese government recently acknowledged, 30,000 labor protests of significant size occurred in the year 2000. This amounted to more than 80 major incidents of workplace unrest per day. Although a durable mass labor movement in China has yet to emerge, recent history offers glimpses of what such an association might look like. The Beijing Autonomous Workers Federation (AWF), mainland China’s first independent labor union since the revolution, flourished during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Convened by human rights activist Han Dongfang, the AWF provided a poignant–-if short-lived-–challenge to the PRC’s inept official labor organization, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU). More recently, worker discontent has produced concrete results in the legal realm. On June 29, 2007, the New York Times reported, “As Unrest Rises, China Broadens Workers’ Rights.”
“Internal Contradictions among the People”
As they were during the past Pacific Century, China’s working people are central to their nation’s productivity at home and its influence abroad. Among a range of possible futures is one in which they collectively resist a global economic order that depends upon their exploitation. Yet China’s long-standing propensity for vanguardism threatens to derail such efforts. The apparatchik-technocrats who have claimed to represent the interests of the Chinese working class have often professed an inimitable ability to predict the future. In 1958, during the fever-pitch of Mao’s Great Leap Forward, the editors of the People’s Daily declared, “Chairman Mao is a great prophet….Each prophecy of Chairman Mao has become a reality. It was so in the past; it is so today.” Little did Mao’s fervent supporters foresee that the myopic policies of the Great Leap Forward would lead to the largest famine in world history. Between 16.5 million and 30 million Chinese perished in the lean years of the 1960s.
Despite such colossal failures in the predictive realm, the future may offer and ironic affirmation of Mao’s own theory of ‘continuous revolution’. A 2001 CCP study group concluded that the escalating number of demonstrations, petitions, and labor disputes that have recently occurred throughout China constitute “new internal contradictions among the people.” The ongoing resolution of these contradictions will invariably shape the contours of any emergent Pacific Century.
“China Has Stood Up!”—The Renewed Rise of the ‘Pacific Century’ 1949-2050(?): An International Relations Perspective
By Thomas S. Wilkins, Ph.D.
The majority of those active in the field of International Relations (IR) are likely to have encountered the phrase ‘Pacific Century’, but it is not a term that has gained wide currency in the discipline. Though a number of writers such as Dennis Florig, Rosemary Foot, and Andrew Walter have approached the concept, on the whole IR scholars have not systematically or conceptually interrogated it—certainly not in recent years. This deficiency will be addressed here through a three-step process. This section first establishes the parameters of a ‘Pacific Century’ as a referent for study informed by the conceptual framework presented above. This is followed first by an application of the ‘Traditional’ (Realist and Pluralist) and then ‘Critical’ schools of IR theory to the concept. The section concludes with some final reflections upon the Pacific Century and its conception in IR.
Pax Sinica 1949-2050: A Chinese-led ‘Pacific Century’
Recognizing that certain concepts can be tractable – even contestable – is one thing, yet in order to proceed with a cogent and sustainable argument one must take a position. To lend some coherency to the following analysis I have decided to set the following parameters and priorities. First, the thesis expounded and interrogated here is the idea of a Chinese-led Pacific Century. Even as far back 1809 Emperor Napoleon predicted, “Quand la Chine s’éveillera, le monde entier tremblera...” (“When China awakes the world will tremble.”) The tremors are now unmistakable. Policy makers are alive to China’s growing potential and the ‘rise of China’ has gathered huge momentum in the field of IR. Kenneth Lieberthal, Director of the China Institute of the University of Michigan, says of the Chinese: “I think they believe that the 21st century is China’s century.” A recent article, “The Chinese Century,” in Time magazine indicates that this notion has now also entered the popular consciousness. This vision therefore portends the coming of Pax Sinica spreading across Asia and beyond into the Pacific World.
Second, in designating a time frame for this Pacific Century I have opted for the period 1949-2050 in a compromise between the historians, ideologues, and futurologists. My rationale for selecting this time frame is as follows. The period opens with Mao Zedong proclaiming to the masses gathered in Tiananmen Square that “China has stood up.” The Red Army victory in the Chinese Civil War represented the unification of the mainland under a strong state with the Communists declaring this a moment of “national salvation” (geming jiuguo). The government of the following decades for all its imperfections created an integrity and cohesion to the Chinese polity that laid the foundations for the economic ‘take off’ under Deng Xiaoping to the booming China of today. The dénouement of China’s Pacific destiny will occur by the mid-21st century. The year 2050, by some estimates, represents the year when the Chinese economy will overtake the US economy with all the implications this entails. In the teleological rhetoric of the Communists this will represent the realization of gaige xingguo (national prosperity) for the Chinese people. Since the period straddles the recent past, the present, and looks toward the future, it is highly amenable to IR theories and presents much material for consideration.
Evidently, the organizing idea of this Pacific century places the PRC at the core of the following analysis, since in Borthwick’s view, it is “China’s resurgence…that poses the central questions for the coming Pacific Century.’ There is strong justification for this. The PRC is now an economic powerhouse fundamental to the wider notion of Asian resurgence as it is embodied in the Pacific Century vision. However, this is not to suggest that the unfolding Pacific Century is in anyway confined exclusively to the Middle Kingdom. David Kang declares that “the Rest of Asia is increasingly tied up with China’s rise.” For example, it is estimated that when the economies of Japan and Korea are added to the Chinese, the three together will account for 50 percent of world GDP by 2050. Nor should we overlook India as a major player in the dawning Pacific Century. Seema Desai affirms that “India has the potential to raise its US dollar income per capita in 2050 to 35 times current levels.” Though China occupies central stage, (especially for Realists), readers should be alert to the major roles also played by Japan, South Korea and India, though space restrictions here preclude their detailed discussion.
“Traditional’ Perspectives: Realism and Pluralism
Having expounded the notion of Pacific Century organized around the idea of a dawning ‘Chinese Century’, beginning in 1949 and reaching its culminating apogee in 2050, with the PRC as the primary, but not only, referent of analysis, the necessary parameters are set. This section now interrogates the concept from a variety of IR perspectives. The nature and prospects of the Pacific Century look rather different depending on which school of IR one consults. This section first considers how the ‘Traditional’ IR approaches of Realism and Pluralism view the concept before turning to the alternative conceptions offered by “Critical’ theorists (here incorporating elements of Constructivism, Post Modernism, Marxism and Feminism). All these perspectives concentrate on different aspects and offer contrasting scenarios for the unfolding Pacific Century, scenarios that vary in their degree of pessimism or optimism.
The Realist image of the Pacific Century places a strong emphasis on rising Chinese power and offers a somewhat pessimistic outlook for the future. This is not surprising given its introspective philosophical foundations based upon the writings of Thucydides, Niccolo Machiavelli, and others, all of whom concentrated upon the more negative traits of human and state behavior. Realist analysis prioritizes issues of ‘high politics’-–military security, state diplomacy and great power rivalry. Above all it is concerned with shifts in the international ‘balance of power’. With respect to the Pacific region, most analysts identify that a structural shift is underway in which China will eventually equal, if not exceed, the aggregate power of the United States, ‘threatening’ the only current ‘superpower’. Realists highlight the propensity for states to maximize their power. It is well known that the achievement of ‘comprehensive national power’ (zonghe guoli) is an important facet of Beijing’s grand strategy to realize its Chinese Century. These factors will result in a ‘security dilemma’ – a condition of exacerbated mistrust between the US and its allies and a newly powerful PRC. Realist Balance of Power theory predicts that this will result in the formation of competing alliance blocs. Indeed it could be argued that this dynamic is already taking shape as seen from the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 1996 and the inauguration of a tighter US-Japanese-Australian trilateral relationship in 2006.
From the Realist viewpoint there are two possible consequences to this trend. The contest for superiority could remain ‘cold’ like the standoff between the US and the USSR from 1947-1991. This would still likely involve another regional, if not global, arms race. As China’s economy grows it is devoting increasing resources to its defense budget in order to achieve a “Revolution in Military Affairs with Chinese Characteristics.” The acquisition of advanced arms from Russia and the recent demonstration of anti-satellite weapon capabilities are indicative of China’s increasing “hard power.” Whether mutual nuclear deterrence between China and its rivals will keep competition stable and non-violent remains to be seen. Other Realist commentators believe that China’s rise is occurring in a climate of instability and that simmering conflicts could lead to a ‘hot’, (that is; ‘shooting’, war). Aaron Friedberg (based on John Mearsheimer’s thesis) has sought to draw parallels between Asia’s ‘future’ and Europe’s ‘past’ especially the period of international tension prior to 1914. In this scenario, regional flashpoints such as the Taiwan Strait, the Spratly Islands, or even North Korea could act as the spark that lights the powder keg of general war reminiscent of the 1914 assassination in Sarajevo. Thus, Samuel Huntington concludes that “Asia has replaced Europe as the principal area of instability and political conflict.”
In both the ‘cold’ ‘and ‘hot’ rivalry scenarios a key challenge is how to incorporate the reawakening Chinese ‘giant’ into the existing regional and international order. Again historical parallels with Europe have been drawn, particularly the problem of assimilating a powerful and united Germany into the European system from 1871 onwards. Beijing is acutely aware of this analogy and its declared foreign policy of Zhongguo heping jueqi is based upon its “peaceful rise.” Realist skeptics naturally assume this to be thinly disguised Realpolitik that conceals future hegemonic ambitions.They note that, based upon the writings of Sun Zi, the Chinese are past masters in the art of strategic deception.
Pluralists of all persuasions tend to alight on the prospects for regional peace and prosperity and are less transfixed by the specter of Chinese preeminence than the Realists. Pluralism takes the writings of John Locke and Immanuel Kant (among others) as its philosophical points of reference. Rather than concentrating on the relative benefits to be gained by individual state competition they are more transnational in approach, focusing on the absolute benefits that may enjoyed by all through enhanced regional cooperation. This also includes a consensus on the need to move beyond state-centric military conceptions of security to incorporate economic, environmental and human concerns onto the regional security agenda. There are several overlapping ‘Liberal’, ‘Institutionalist’ and ‘Idealist’ props to the overall vision of the Pluralists with regard to the Pacific Century.
First, Liberals identify that due to the process of globalization—especially its economic dimension— that a condition of ‘complex interdependence’ now exists between Asia Pacific nations. Robert Manning and Paula Stern argue: “The widespread hope is that the compelling force of geoeconomics and information age flows of capital, information, and people is creating a new calculus and redefining interests in the Pacific in a way that will offer new possibilities for cooperation.” The close interconnection between economics and security will insure both a prosperous and peaceful coming Pacific Century. Since all the developed or developing states in the regions are dependent upon each other for trade, investment and markets any state contemplating an initiation of military conflict will be inhibited by economic damage they would inflict upon themselves. Peace will therefore obtain. China is playing a crucial role in this respect. Beijing’s Zhongguo heping jueqi foreign policy and the principles of its ‘New Security Concept’ are exemplary of this thinking. According to Esther Pan “The policy asserts that China can thrive economically in a peaceful environment and also serve as a catalyst for global peace.” Indeed, a closer look at China’s notion of ‘comprehensive national power’ reveals the importance that Beijing ascribes to elements of ‘soft power’ such as language, culture, and the role of the Chinese diaspora, rather than the military power potential that captivates Realists. The PRC has therefore styled itself foremost among the proponents of a pluralist liberal order in the Asia Pacific.
Second, reinforcing this impetus toward cooperation, Institutionalists draw attention to the capacity of international and multilateral organizations to govern the region and overcome or resolve disputes between states. Institutions such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Council (APEC) and the Association of South East Asian nations (ASEAN), with all its variants, are key components of regional governance. According to Mark Berger and Douglas Borer, “APEC is emerging as a key institutional nexus of liberal…visions of the Pacific Century.” These institutions serve as a strong foundation upon which an increasingly comprehensive and effective “security community” may be built in the future. However even the brightest optimist would concede the idea of a unified and peaceful ‘Pacific Community’ (‘security community’) still has a long way to go due to the uneven economic and political development of the region. “Trade, investment and a Pacific coastline do not necessarily make for a broader sense of community,” according to Manning and Stern.
Finally, Idealists contend that the wider spread of democracy and ongoing democratic reform in the region will result in a sustainable, even ‘perpetual’, peace in the future. Based upon the assumption that democracies do not fight each other, the more democratic the region becomes, the more conflict between states will diminish toward a zero point. Though the regimes of Myanmar and North Korea do little to inspire optimism on this front, the successful transformation of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan along democratic lines set a positive precedent, one it is hoped that China in particular will emulate. Hung Mao-Tien and Tun Jen-Cheng identify that “In this region…the Kantian ‘Pacific Community’ among liberal states has yet to emerge.” Since the 1989 Tiananmen episode, China-watchers avidly search for signs of democratic progress or regression. Managing an increasingly liberal and pluralist society based on economic progress but lacking real democratic participation will be perhaps the key challenge Beijing will have to contend with if it is to achieve its Pacific Century.
‘Critical’ Perspectives: Constructivism, Marxism and Feminism
There is little consensus on the exact definition and composition of critical theories in IR. Many traditionalists would also question their validity and desirability as IR approaches. Nevertheless, these ‘post-positivist’ approaches are themselves broadly united in their critique of the traditional schools; their ‘positivist’ methodology; and the concept of international order they represent. Thus, though there is no specific ‘critical’ literature dedicated to the Pacific Century concept, these approaches can be readily applied. Given the enormous diversity and complexity of critical theories, some simplification is necessary. Aspects of Social Constructivism, (including Post Modernism), Marxism (including Post Colonialism) and Feminism are examined here.
First, Social Constructivists argue that reality is created and perpetuated by social practice and the meaning given to this practice. They encourage us to reflect upon received wisdom to understand its embedded contexts and multiple interpretations. Post Modernists go much further to argue that we should deconstruct all discourse to uncover the hidden ‘regimes of power’ behind it. From a constructivist standpoint the nature of China’s rise is expressed in subjective assessments by Realists and Liberals. They both examine the same ‘objective’ facts and arrive at completely different interpretations. Why for example, as Realists argue, should a more powerful and better-armed China pose a threat to regional security, while the vastly more destructive power of the American and Russian arsenals are taken for granted? The answer lies in the ‘eye of the beholder’ and context is all-important. Post Modernists call into question all discourse as it appertains to IR analysis. For example: who has the power to brand North Korea a ‘rogue state’ or Falun Gong a ‘terrorist group’ and what are the motivations for such labeling? Passive acceptance of this discourse implies complicity with certain agendas and the foreclosing of other possibilities. The final two critical perspectives further illustrate these points. Above all, it is worth reflecting on the nature of the concept ‘Pacific Century’ as being bound to certain perceptions or agendas. There exists no tangible physical entity called the ‘Pacific Century’ that is amenable to analysis in the ‘positivist’ sense of the natural sciences, it is a ‘social construction’ that implies certain accepted understandings and their replication. We must therefore recognize that the whole notion as conceived by the traditional schools is embedded in a distinct analytical context – “dominant currents in Western social science thought contributed to its propagation and reception.”
Thirdly, Marxist theorists focus on the economic and class injustices that qualify some of the reports of glowing prosperity for all integral to the Pacific Century vision. Increasing replication of the capitalist ‘world system’ across the Asia Pacific is creating divisions between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. The fruits of the Pacific Century have yet to be enjoyed by all the region’s states, and even huge sections within these states themselves. China is a case in point. The accumulating prosperity of the urban coastal belt of China, the gaige xingguo of Chinese ideologues, is not reaching the vast swath of the interior rural heartland. According to a recent government survey 200 million Chinese subsist on less than $1 a day, the standard indicator of poverty. Rural inhabitants on average earn less than a third of their urban counterparts and suffer from correspondingly low levels of education and mortality, a situation exacerbated by widespread corruption. The resultant mass internal migrations and the rural protest movements that are developing have the potential to derail the Chinese Century if the Communist Party fails to address them adequately. Indeed the very legitimacy of the Party itself may depend not only on uninterrupted economic growth, but a more egalitarian distribution of its fruits. In the broader perspective of class iniquity, what advanced countries like Japan or the US consider ‘cheap labor’ – such as factory workers in China – looks more like ‘labor exploitation’ to others, even neo-colonial exploitation. Therefore, closely tied to questions of poverty and exploitation is a refocusing, first championed by Ken Booth, on notions of ‘human security’. Booth contends that the military-economic security concerns of the traditionalists fail to reflect the security of the individual the right to dignity, health, education, civil rights and protection from persecution. This view therefore accords the priority to a Pacific Century for all based on ‘social justice’.
Finally, the Feminist approach to the Pacific Century in IR draws attention to the continued gender inequalities in countries of the Asia-Pacific. The condition of ‘structural violence’ – the physical and emotional abuse that many women still continue to suffer in the region, is sometimes allied to their ‘second class citizen’ status and lack of educational or economic opportunity in certain countries. In the first instance, female infanticide (often through ‘selective abortions’) in China (and India) is not only morally abhorrent but is resulting in major demographic gender imbalance. In the second respect, women in China still experience discrimination and limits to their career advancement, especially in more patriarchal rural areas. Li Xiaoyun of China Agricultural University records that “gender inequality still commonly exists in almost all social aspects including political power, education, health, employment and assets possession.” This dynamic is not confined to Chinese society but is also marked in highly advanced nations such as Japan with its so-called ‘rice paper ceiling’ for women. As a result, Feminists would argue the Pacific Century mainly represents yet another a male-dominated project in which injustices against women are not addressed.
Rising China: An Unstoppable Force?
This discussion of a Chinese-led Pacific Century has demonstrated how both the traditional and critical schools of IR can usefully be applied to analyze the concept. It is clear that each of the schools offers very different perspectives and prognoses for the Pacific Century and they vary in the priority they ascribe to ‘rising China’. It is the Pluralist approach that is most compatible with the broad ideology of the Pacific Century, focusing optimistically on institutional cooperation and the economic prosperity that is at the root of the concept. Realism is more pessimistic, arguing that any Chinese-led Pacific Century will incubate great power rivalry and potential regional conflict. However, what these two traditional schools have in common is their adherence to a perpetuation of certain regional ‘order’. For Realists the Pacific Century order will be based on the balance of power, while for Pluralists it will rest upon increased economic and institutional cooperation. In contrast, the critical approaches are neither optimistic nor pessimistic per se. Constructivist/Post Modernist approaches question the embedded meanings of a Pacific Century, its implicit agendas, and the type of ‘order’ it represents in the traditional view. Marxists and Feminists argue for a reconstitution of any liberal or power based order and its transformation into a more just and inclusive one. From this standpoint the Pacific Century would therefore incorporate those excluded or underprivileged in the traditional conceptions.
Conclusion: “Experiencing” the Pacific Century
As we both demonstrate, various notions of a Pacific Century are – first and foremost – framing concepts, useful ways of reorganizing the geography of the past, present, and future around a space that has so often been relegated to the periphery of scholarly analysis. Yet we also contend that the idea of a Pacific Century is more than a heuristic tool. It has been, and will likely continue to be, an ideological formulation that dramatically shapes the experiences of the people who inhabit the Pacific World.
In China’s case, the historical ‘century of shame and humiliation’ and the emergent Pax Sinica are both Pacific-oriented tropes through which the Chinese have described their nation’s relationship to other nations and peoples. Chinese diasporas have been, and will continue to be, fundamental to the projection of Sinic power and culture. China’s trajectory in the world system is central to any far-reaching inquiry about future possibilities of a Pacific Century. In each of the possible scenarios that may materialize over the coming decades, China’s sheer population size, its vast share of the world export market, and its ever-expanding demand for energy ensure that it will play a vital role in setting the terms of the outcome.
As we have stressed, the Pacific world is finally emerging as coherent unit of analysis. Our ‘Pacific Century’ may be as much a renaissance in geographical perspective as it is an acknowledgment that the collective destiny of billions of people resides in the social movements connecting Beijing to San Francisco, the commercial interests linking Jakarta to Auckland, or the family ties relating Lima to Tokyo. Historians can enrich this expanding framework of analysis by deepening our understanding of past interactions among the societies and peoples of the Pacific world. While certain disruptive events of the Nineteenth Century, such as the Opium Wars, the Gold Rush, and the arrival of Commodore Perry’s black ships in Japan provided dramatic surges in trans-Pacific connections and antagonisms, the Pacific world has been ‘globalizing’ since the Sixteenth Century. By 1571, Spain’s Manila Galleons had connected silver mines in Latin America to Chinese silk merchants in the Philippines.
One of the great strengths of an historical vantage point is its ability to challenge our most basic assumptions. As social historian Herbert Gutman pointed out, “The central value of historical understanding is that it transforms historical givens into historical contingencies….Once you surrender the fixed older forms of historical explanation and process, the future becomes open.” Perhaps a more subtle and thorough understanding of Pacific world history will help us to replace prophesied realities with real possibilities.
Though few IR scholars have directly engaged with the notion of a ‘Pacific Century’ under this actual heading, the region has become increasingly used as a ‘laboratory’ in which to test the core debates of the discipline. As Sorpong Peou points out, for example, “Although it had previously attracted little theoretical reflection, the region has now forced scholars to debate vigorously on the nature and future of its security.” Of course these debates, especially those conducted by Realists and Pluralists, are centered upon the ‘rise of Asia’ in international politics, which of course is entirely consummate with the Pacific Century thesis. The multiplicity of IR theories and perspectives also adds up to a multifaceted analysis of the Pacific Century debate, with Realist, Pluralist and Critical theorists of all types all approaching the concept from different epistemological and ontological bearings and prioritizing different variables. This explains how they arrive at their widely divergent trajectories for the Pacific future.
This article has demonstrated that the idea of ‘Pacific Century’ can be applied historically and contemporaneously. It is a ‘Janus-faced’ concept where one face looks to the past the other to toward the future. This makes the notion highly amenable to study from both an historical and an international relations perspective. Indeed, the application of the term in contemporary political analysis is meaningless without a historical perspective. Likewise, any historical account benefits from relating current discourses to past events. The disciplines of history and IR operate with different foci. Historians often prioritize the individual or community while IR scholars are primarily concerned with the interaction of states with the international system. In this respect, both disciplines are mutually reinforcing, and much advantage is gained from an interdisciplinary approach. Only through collaboration across fields can the complexity and multi-dimensionality of concepts such as the Pacific Century be captured and a better understanding of the Pacific World be achieved.
1. During the 2006-07 academic year, the authors were Kiriyama Visiting Research Fellows at the University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Kiriyama Chair, and we wish to thank Barbara Bundy, Ken Kopp, and Chiho Sawada for their advice and support.
2. Mark Borthwick, Pacific Century: The Emergence of Modern Pacific Asia (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1998), p. 1. [Return to Text]
3. Borthwick, Pacific Century, p. 1. [Return to Text]
4. Chris Dixon and David Drakakis-Smith, “The Pacific Asian Region: Myth or Reality,” Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography, vol. 77, no. 2 (1995), pp. 77-78. Also see, James C. Abegglen, Sea Change: Pacific Asia as the New World Industrial Center (New York: Free Press, 1994); Robert S. Elegant, Pacific Destiny: Inside Asia Today (New York: Crown Pub., 1990); and Staffan Burenstam Linder, The Pacific Century: Economic and Political Consequences of Asian-Pacific Dynamism (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1986). [Return to Text]
5. Rosemary Foot and Andrew Walter, “Whatever Happened to the Pacific Century?” Review of International Studies, vol. 25, no. 5 (December 1999), p. 245. [Return to Text]
6. Ezra F. Vogel, Japan as Number One: Lessons for America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1979); and Chalmers Johnson, MITI and the Japanese Miracle (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1982) [Return to Text]
7. L. Gordon Crovitz, “‘93: The Pacific Century,” Far Eastern Economic Review, vol. 157, no. 1 (December 30, 1993 – January 6, 1994), p. 32. [Return to Text]
8. Frank Gibney, The Pacific Century (New York: MacMillan, 1992); William McCord, The Dawn of the Pacific Century (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction 1991); and Borthwick, Pacific Century. [Return to Text]
9. “The Asia-Pacific Century”, Remarks by Ban Ki-Moon, in The Asia Pacific Century: A New Era (New York: Newsdesk Media Inc, 2006), p. 7. [Return to Text]
10. Joern Dorsch, “United States Security Policies in Asia,” in Stephen Hoadley and Juergen Rueland, eds., Asian Security Reassessed (Singapore, Institute of South East Asian Studies, 2006), p. 110. [Return to Text]
11. Robert A. Manning, “Asia Crisis: Now for the Hard Part,” Los Angeles Times (January 4, 1998), p. 2. [Return to Text]
12. Morton I. Abramowitz, “Asia: Look Out for More Surprises,” The Washington Post (January 4, 1998), p. C7. [Return to Text]
13. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Collected Works, Vol. 10 (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1978), p. 266. [Return to Text]
14. Linda D. Kozaryn, “U.S. Shapes Far East Ties,” American Forces Press Service (June 12, 1997), available at www.defenselink.mil/news/ newsarticle.aspx?id=41044> [Return to Text]
15. See Pekka Korhonen, “The Pacific Age in World History,” Journal of World History, vol. 7, no. 1(Spring 1996) pp. 41-70. Korhonen’s article traces the concept of a “Pacific Age” to a Japanese scholar who first developed the idea that the Twentieth century would be the Pacific Age. See Ingaki Manjiro, Toho Saku Ketsuron Soan (Tokyo: Tetsugaku Shoin, 1892). Masakazu Yamazaki, a Japanese scholar and playwright has advanced the notion that the Pacific basin was an “emerging civilization.” See: Masakazu Yamazaki, “Asia, a Civilization in the Making,” Foreign Affairs, vol. 75, no. 4 (July/August 1996), p. 118. For a debate about the “Pacific Community,” see Robert A. Manning and Paula Stern, “The Myth of the Pacific Community,” Foreign Affairs, vol. 73, no. 6 (November/December 1994), pp. 79-93. Also see: William Wyatt Davenport, ed., The Pacific Era (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press). [Return to Text]
16. See: The Asia Pacific Century: A New Era. [Return to Text]
17. For more on this line of debate see Kishore Mahbubani, Can Asians Think? (London: Times Editions, 2004). [Return to Text]
18. For an overview see Mahbubani, Can Asians Think?; and Lee Kuan Yew, From Third World to First: The Singapore Story 1965-2000 (London: HarperCollins Pub., 2000). [Return to Text]
19. Borthwick, Pacific Century, p. 525. [Return to Text]
20. See Mahbubani, Can Asians Think?; and Lee Kuan Yew, From Third World to First. [Return to Text]
21. Paul M. Evans, “Assessing the ARF and CSCAP,” in Hung-mao Tien and Tun-jen Cheng eds., The Security Environment in the Asia-Pacific (London: M.E. Sharpe, 2000), p. 159. On the concept of a “Pacific Way,” see Kishore Mabubani “Why Asia’s Balkans are at Peace,” New Perspectives Quarterly, vol. 12, no. 1 (Winter 1995), pp. 51-53. [Return to Text]
22. Seema Desai, “Asia Reaches Threshold of Global Power,” in The Asia Pacific Century: A New Era, pp. 12-13. [Return to Text]
23. The state-based international system is still patterned upon a Western model, thought by many to have begun with the end of the Thirty Years War and the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 – hence the “Westphalian System.” [Return to Text]
24. Borthwick, Pacific Century, p. 1. [Return to Text]
25. Niall Ferguson, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (New York: The Penguin Press, 2006). [Return to Text]
26. Eric Hobsbawn, The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991 (New York: Vintage Books, 1996). [Return to Text]
27. Foot and Walter, “Whatever Happened to the Pacific Century?” p. 269. [Return to Text]
28. See Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, trans. Siân Reynolds, 2 vols. (New York: Harper & Row, 1972-73). For illustrations of the wide-ranging scholarship on the Atlantic World, see Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000); Philip D. Curtin, The Rise and Fall of the Plantation Complex: Essays in Atlantic History, 2nd Ed. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998); and Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993). On the Indian Ocean, see K.N. Chaudhuri, Trade and Civilisation in the Indian Ocean: An Economic History from the Rise of Islam to 1750 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1985). [Return to Text]
29. Dennis O. Flynn and Arturo Giráldez, “Introduction,” in Environmental History in the Pacific World, ed. J.R. McNeill (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001), ix. O.H.K. Spate’s three volume series, The Pacific since Magellan (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1979-88), provided a welcome starting point from which to begin bridging the gaps that exist in trans-Pacific history. Also see Carlos Prieto, El Océano pacífico: Navigantes españoles del siglo XVI (Barcelona: Alianza, 1975); and Arif Dirlik, “Introducing the Pacific,” What’s in a Rim? Critical Perspectives on the Pacific Region Idea, Arif Dirlik, ed. (Taipei: SMC Publishing, 1993), pp. 9-11. [Return to Text]
30. Moisés Naím, “Editor’s Note,” Foreign Policy, no. 110 (Spring 1998), p. 9. [Return to Text]
31. Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, ed. and trans. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1992), p. 171. [Return to Text]
32. One of the few skeptics of the “Asian Tiger” phenomenon was economist Paul Krugman. See Krugman’s “The Myth of Asia’s Miracle,” Foreign Affairs, no. 73 (November/December 1994), pp. 62-78. Two years later, The Wall Street Journal (October 23, 1996) followed the trend of creature-centered discourse by referring to Krugman as “A gadfly vindicated.” Also see, Pekka Korhonen, “The Theory of the Flying Geese Pattern of Development and Its Interpretations,” Journal of Peace Research, vol. 31, no. 1. (February 1994), pp. 93-108. [Return to Text]
33. Yong Deng, “Hegemon on the Offensive: Chinese Perspectives on U. S. Global Strategy,” Political Science Quarterly, vol. 116, no. 3 (Autumn 2001), pp. 343-65. The caption on the cover of the February 22, 1988 Newsweek read “Special Report: The Pacific Century, Is America in Decline?” Also see Peter Schmeisser, “Is America in Decline?” New York Times Magazine (April 17, 1988), pp. 24-26, 66-68, 96. Also see, Donald W. White, The American Century: The Rise and Decline of the United States as a World Power (Yale University Press, 1996); Steven Schlosstein, The End of the American Century (New York: Congdon & Weed, 1989); and Edward N. Luttwak and Robery L. Bartley, “Is America on the Way Down? (pro and con),” Commentary, vol. 93, no. 3 (March 1992), pp. 15–27. For surveys of the arguments about China’s ascendance as a global superpower see, Alice D. Ba, “China and ASEAN: Renavigating Relations for a 21st-Century Asia,” Asian Survey, vol. 43, no. 4. (July-August 2003), pp. 622-47; and Denny Roy, “The ‘China Threat’ Issue: Major Arguments,” Asian Survey, vol. 36, no. 8 (August 1996), pp. 758-71. [Return to Text]
34. British imperial influence via the treaty ports was by no means universally strong and varied widely among locations. See Alfred Lin, The Rural Economy of Guangdong, 1870-1937: A Study of the Agrarian Crisis and its Origins in Southernmost China (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997); and David Faure, The Rural Economy of Pre-Liberation China (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1989). [Return to Text]
35. Jesuit missionaries introduced the Gregorian Calendar to China in 1582, but this method of recording the passage of time was slow to take hold prior to the Opium Wars. For a cross-cultural examination of approaches to time, see Anthony F. Aveni, Empires of Time: Calendars, Clocks, and Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1989). [Return to Text]
36. Beijing Review (September 13, 1982). Also see, Mao Zedong, “The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party,” Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. II (Calcutta: Nabajatak Prakashan, 1973), p. 311. [Return to Text]
37. David Northrup, Indentured Labor in the Age of Imperialism, 1834-1922 (New York: University of Cambridge Press, 1995). [Return to Text]
38. Laurence J. C. Ma and Carolyn Carter, eds., The Chinese Diaspora: Space, Place, Mobility, and Identity (Oxford, UK: Roman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003); and Christopher Fung, “Some Thoughts on the State of Chinese Diaspora Studies,” China Review International 9 (Spring 2002) pp. 17-22. For an example of scholarship that focuses on an earlier phase of Chinese emigration, see Adam McKeown, Chinese Migrant Networks and Cultural Change: Peru, Chicago, Hawaii, 1900–1936 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001). [Return to Text]
39. The term ‘coolie’ is derived from the Bengali word for laborer, kuli. In South America, the Caribbean, and the North American West, it served as a derogatory term for cheap, servile laborers. Robert J. Schwedinger, Ocean of Bitterness: Maritime Relations between China and the United States, 1850-1915 (Tucson, AZ: Westernlore Press, 1988), p. 20. [Return to Text]
40. Lord John Russell, as quoted in Arnold Joseph Meagher, “The Introduction of Chinese Laborers to Latin America: The ‘Coolie Trade,’ 1847-1874,” (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Davis, 1975), p. 25. On the question of “free” versus “unfree” labor, see David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); and Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). On the relationship between Asian coolie labor and slavery in the United States during the late 1800s, see Moon-Ho Jung, “Outlawing ‘Coolies’: Race, Nation, and Empire in the Age of Emancipation,” American Quarterly, vol. 57, no. 3 (September 2005), pp. 677-701. [Return to Text]
41. Rebecca J. Scott, Slave Emancipation in Cuba: The Transition to Free Labor, 1860-1899 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985), p. 33. On the debate over the coolie’s status as slave or freeman, see Evelyn Hu-DeHart, “Chinese Coolie Labor in Cuba in the Nineteenth Century: Free Labour or Neoslavery?” Slavery and Abolition, vol. 14, no. 1 (April 1993), pp. 67-86 For a spirited defense of the Qing Dynasty’s policies regarding the traffic in laborers from Southern China’s costal regions, see Robert L. Irick, Ch’ing Policy Toward the Coolie Trade (San Francisco: Chinese Materials Center, 1982). [Return to Text]
42. June Mei, “Socioeconomic Origins of Emigration: Guangdong to California, 1850-1882,” Modern China, vol. 5, no. 4 (October 1979), p. 464. The figure is calculated from data in Ronald Skeldon, “Hong Kong in an International Migration System,” in Ronald Skeldon, ed., Reluctant Exiles? Migration from Hong Kong and the New Overseas Chinese (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1994), p. 24. [Return to Text]
43. Lucy M. Cohen, “The Chinese of the Panama Railroad: Preliminary Notes on the Migrants of 1854 Who ‘Failed,’” Ethnohistory, vol. 18, no. 4 (Autumn 1971), pp. 311 and 313. In the 1860s, Chinese workers constructed the railroad between El Paso and Mexico City. See Mou-chuan Tao, “Chinese Footprints in Mexico,” Free China Review, vol. 8, no. 11 (1958), pp. 29-30. [Return to Text]
44. “The Asiatic Slave Trade,” New York Daily Times, July 22, 1853. Carlos Contreras and Marcos Cueto, Historia del Perú contemporáneo: Desde las luchas por la Independencia hasta el presente (2nd ed., Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos/Red para el Desarrollo de las Ciencias Sociales en el Perú, 2000), pp. 127-36; and Michael J. Gonzales, Plantation Agriculture and Social Control in Northern Peru, 1875-1933 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985), Ch. 5. The most comprehensive study of Chinese coolie laborers on Peruvian cotton and sugar plantations is Humberto Rodríguez Pastor, Hijos del Celeste Imperio en el Perú (1850-1900): migración, agricultura, mentalidad y explotación (Lima: Instituto de Apoyo Agraria, 1990). [Return to Text]
45. See Edward D. Melillo, “Strangers on Familiar Soil: Chile and the Making of California, 1948-1930,” (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, December 2006), Ch. 5. [Return to Text]
46. See Michael J. Gonzales, “Chinese Plantation Workers and Social Conflict in Peru in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Journal of Latin American Studies 21 (October 1989): 385-424; and Watt Stewart, Chinese Bondage in Peru: A History of the Chinese Coolie, 1849-1874 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1951). On Peruvian slavery and the conditions surrounding its abolition, see Peter Blanchard, Slavery and Abolition in Early Republican Peru (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1992). On the origin of the term “chifa,” see James F. Horton, “Two Words of Chinese Origin in Present-Day Peruvian Spanish,” Hispania, vol. 60, no. 4 (December 1977), pp. 956-57. [Return to Text]
47. Stanley L. Engerman, “Contract Labor, Sugar, and Technology in the Nineteenth Century,” The Journal of Economic History, vol. 43, no. 3 (September 1983), p. 642. [Return to Text]
48. Clarence E. Glick, Sojourners and Settlers: Chinese Migrants in Hawaii (Honolulu: Hawaii Chinese History Center / University Press of Hawaii, 1980); and Tin-Yuke Char, ed., The Sandalwood Mountains: Readings and Stories of the Early Chinese in Hawaii (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1975). The statistics are derived from Ch’eng-K’un Cheng, “A Study of Chinese Assimilation in Hawaii,” Social Forces, vol. 32, no. 2. (December 1953), p. 163. [Return to Text]
49. “Chinese Immigration,” Hawaiian Monthly (May 1884). [Return to Text]
50. Erika Lee, “Orientalisms in the Americas: Hemispheric Approaches to Asian American History,” Journal of Asian American Studies, vol. 8, no. 3 (October 2005), pp. 235-56. [Return to Text]
51. Marin Journal (March 30, 1876). [Return to Text]
52. Shih-Shan Henry Tsai, The Chinese Experience in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986); and Yong Chen, Chinese San Francisco, 1850-1943: A Trans-Pacific Community (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000). [Return to Text]
53. Message from Dr. Bowring to Lord Malmesbury (January 5, 1853) as quoted in Kil Young Zo, Chinese Emigration into the United States, 1850-1880 (Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1971), p. 86. [Return to Text]
54. For a general labor history of Chinese-American farmworkers, see Richard Steven Street, Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004), esp. pp. 235-370. [Return to Text]
55. The Enquirer (Dutch Flat, California), as quoted in Alexander Saxton, “The Army of Canton in the High Sierra,” The Pacific Historical Review, vol. 35, no. 2 (May 1966), p. 147. [Return to Text]
56. Ronald Takaki, Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans (New York: Penguin Books, 1989), 85; and Anna Pegler-Gordon, “Chinese Exclusion, Photography, and the Development of U.S. Immigration Policy,” American Quarterly, vol. 58, no. 1 (March 2006), pp. 51-52. [Return to Text]
57. Elisha Oscar Crosby, Memoirs of Elisha Oscar Crosby, Reminiscences of California and Guatemala from 1849 to 1864, ed. Charles Albro Baker (San Marino, CA: The Huntington Library, 1945), p. 109. [Return to Text]
58. Lucie Cheng Hirata, “Free, Indentured, Enslaved: Chinese Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century America,” Signs, vol. 5, no. 1 (Autumn 1979), p. 9; and Benson Tong, Unsubmissive Women: Chinese Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994). [Return to Text]
59. Basil Lubbock, Coolie Ships and Oil Sailors (Glasgow: Brown, Son, & Ferguson, Ltd., 1935), p. 33. [Return to Text]
60. Meagher, “The Introduction of Chinese Laborers to Latin America,” pp. 185-89. [Return to Text]
61. Heraclio Bonilla, “The War of the Pacific and the National and Colonial Problem in Peru,” Past and Present, no. 81. (November 1978), pp. 92-118. [Return to Text]
62. Alexander Saxton, The Indispensable Enemy, Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement in California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), pp. 9-10 and 215; and Sucheng Chan, This Bittersweet Soil: The Chinese in California Agriculture, 1860-1910 (Berkeley: University California Press, 1986), pp. 332-33. [Return to Text]
63. J.H. Walsh, as quoted in Daniel Rosenberg, “The IWW and Organization of Asian Workers in Early 20th Century America,” Labor History, vol. 36, no. 1 (1995), p. 82. Also see Melvyn Dubofsky, We Shall Be All: A History of the Industiral Workers of the World (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1969), p. 127. [Return to Text]
64. Renqiu Yu, To Save China, To Save Ourselves: The Chinese Hand Laundry Alliance of New York (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1992). [Return to Text]
65. Craig Storti, Incident at Bitter Creek: The Story of the Rock Springs Chinese Massacre (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1991). For Chinese minister Zheng Zaoru’s report to the U.S. Congress on the event, see “Memorial of Chinese Laborers at Rock Springs, Wyoming (1885),” in Judy Yung, Gordon H. Chang, and Him Mark Lai , eds., Chinese American Voices: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 48-54. [Return to Text]
66. Chinese Exclusion Act (May 6, 1882), full text available at: www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/resources/archives/seven/chinxact.htm [Return to Text]
67. Over the past two centuries, the United States has evolved into what Erika Lee has termed a “gatekeeping nation in which immigration restriction – largely based on race and nationality – came to determine the very makeup of the nation and American national identity.” Erika Lee, At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration During the Exclusion Era, 1882–1943 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), p. 6. Kaiser Wilhelm II is generally credited with coining the bigoted German phrase die gelbe Gefahr, or “the Yellow Peril,” which entered the vocabulary of the Prussian elite during the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. Heinz Gollwitzer, Die gelbe Gefahr: Geschichte eines Schlagworts, Studien zum imperialistischen Denken [The Yellow Peril: History of a Keyword, Studies in Imperialist Thought] (Göttingen: Vanderhoek und Ruprecht, 1962), pp. 42-43. For a legal history of the sophisticated challenges mounted by Chinese immigrants to U.S. practices of immigrant exclusion, see Lucy E. Salyer, Laws Harsh as Tigers: Chinese Immigrants and the Shaping of Modern Immigration Law (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995). [Return to Text]
68. Zhonghua renmin gongheguo waijaobu, waijiaoshi bianjishi [the Office of Diplomatic History, the PRC Foreign Ministry], ed. Yanjiu Zhou Enlai [Study Zhou Enlai] (Beijing: Shijie zhishi chubanshe, 1989), 240. [Return to Text]
69. Ching Kwan Lee, “From Organized Dependence to Disorganized Despotism: Changing Labor Regimes in Chinese Factories,” China Quarterly, vol. 157, no. 3 (March 1999), pp. 44-71. [Return to Text]
70. Pun Ngai, “Global Production, Company Codes of Conduct, and Labor Conditions in China: A Case Study of Two Factories,” The China Journal, no. 54 (July 2005), pp. 101-13; Isabelle Thireau and Hua Linshan, “The Moral Universe of Aggrieved Chinese Workers: Workers’ Appeals to Arbitration Committees and Letters and Visits Offices,” The China Journal, no. 50 (July 2003), pp. 83-103; and Anita Chan, China’s Workers under Assault: The Exploitation of Labor in a Globalizing Economy (Armonk, NJ: M.E. Sharpe, 2001). [Return to Text]
71. Philip P. Pan, “‘High Tide’ of Labor Unrest in China: Striking Workers Risk Arrest to Protest Pay Cuts, Corruption,” Washington Post (January 21, 2002), p. A1. [Return to Text]
72. People’s Daily (October 1, 1958). [Return to Text]
73. On numbers of dead and other debates surrounding the Great Leap Forward, see the “Great Leap Famine” special issue of China Economic Review, vol. 9, no. 2 (Fall 1998), pp. 103–70; Dali Yang, Calamity and Reform in China: State, Rural Society, and Institutional Change since the Great Leap Famine (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1996); and Peng Xizhe, “Demographic Consequences of the Great Leap Forward in China’s Provinces,” Population and Development Review, vol. 13, no. 4 (December 1987), pp. 639–70. [Return to Text]
74. Organization Department Project Group of the Chinese Communist Party, as quoted in Ching Kwan Lee, “From the Specter of Mao to the Spirit of the Law: Labor Insurgency in China,” Theory and Society, vol. 31, no. 2 (April 2002), p. 189. On the theory of “continuous revolution,” see Graham Young and Dennis Woodward, “From Contradictions among the People to Class Struggle: The Theories of Uninterrupted Revolution and Continuous Revolution,” Asian Survey, Vol. 18, no. 9 (September 1978), pp. 912-33. [Return to Text]
75. See Foot and Walter, “Whatever Happened to the Pacific Century?”; and Dennis Florig, “Scenarios for the Pacific Century,” World Futures, Fall 2001. [Exact reference not available] [Return to Text]
76. For a popular overview see Oded Shenkar, The Chinese Century: The Rising Chinese Economy and Its Impact on the Global Economy, the Balance of Power, and Your Job (Philadelphia: Wharton School Publishing, 2005). For a historical overview see Jonathan Spence and Annping Chin, The Chinese Century: A Photographic History of the Last Hundred Years (New York: Random House, 1996). [Return to Text]
77. Alain Peyrefitte, Quand la Chine s’éveillera - le monde tremblera (Paris: Fayard, 1980). [Return to Text]
78. See for example: William H. Overholt, The Rise of China: How Economic Reform is Creating a New Superpower (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1993); and Robert G. Sutter, China’s Rise in Asia: Promises and Perils (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005). [Return to Text]
79. “The Chinese Century” Time Magazine (January 22, 2007), p. 34. [Return to Text]
80. “The Chinese Century.” [Return to Text]
81. Byron S.J. Weng, “The Challenge of Hong Kong in Transition: Its Implications for Asian Security,” in Hung-mao Tien and Tun-jen Cheng, eds., The Security Environment in the Asia-Pacific (London: M.E. Sharpe, 2000), p. 100. [Return to Text]
82. “China to be Biggest Economy by 2050.” China Daily (May 22, 2006) www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2006-05/22/content_596360.htm [Return to Text]
83. Borthwick, Pacific Century, p. 546. [Return to Text]
84. Cited in Esther Pan, “The promise and Pitfalls of China’s ‘Peaceful Rise’,” Council on Foreign Affairs, 14 April 2006. www.cfr.org/publication/10446/ [Return to Text]
85. “A Conversation with Asia Society President Vishakha N. Desai,” The Asia Pacific Century: A New Era. [Return to Text]
86. Seema Desai “Population Plays Decisive Role for Growth in China, India,” in The Asia Pacific Century: A New Era. [Return to Text]
87. The basic tenets of the varying IR schools will be familiar to those working in the field. See Jill Steans and Lloyd Pettiford, Introduction to International Relations (2nd ed., Harlow: Prentice Hall, 2005); or John Baylis and Steve Smith, eds., The Globalization of World Politics (3rd ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). [Return to Text]
88. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. George Bull (London: Penguin, 1981); and Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, trans. Richard Warner (London: Penguin, 1972). [Return to Text]
89. Space precludes a detailed separation of all of the variants of the realist school. For ‘classical’ realism see Martin Wight, Power Politics (London, Leicester University Press, 1978). For its Neo-Realist variant see Barry, Buzan, et al., The Logic of Anarchy: Neorealism to Structural Realism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993). [Return to Text]
90. Michael Pillsbury, “China Debates the Future Security Environment,” (Washington DC: National Defense University Press, January 2000). www.fas.org/nuke/guide/china/doctrine/pills2/ index.html. See: Avery Goldstein, Rising to the Challenge: China’s Grand Strategy and International Security (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005). [Return to Text]
91. Serdar Amarsayhan, The Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership: Prospects and Implications (Washington DC: Storming Media, 2003); and Thomas S. Wilkins, “Towards A ‘Trilateral Alliance’? - Understanding the Role of Expediency and Values in American-Japanese-Australian Relations,” Asian Security (forthcoming, Fall 2007). [Return to Text]
92. “China’s National Defense in 2004,” (Beijing: Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, December 2004). english.people.com.cn/whitepaper/defense2004/ defense2004.html [Return to Text]
93. Aaron L. Friedberg, “Ripe for Rivalry: Prospects for a Multipolar Asia,” International Security, vol. 18, no. 3 (Winter 1993/94), pp. 5-33. [Return to Text]
94. Cited in Bernd Martin, “Asia from Colonialism to Culturalism,” in Hoadley and Rueland, (eds.), Asian Security Reassessed, p. 59. [Return to Text]
95. See: the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the People’s Republic of China. www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/default.htm. For a critique see Pan, “The Promise and Pitfalls of China’s ‘Peaceful Rise’.” [Return to Text]
96. James Clavell, The Art of War by Sun Tzu (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1981); and Ralph D. Sawyer, The Tao of Deception: Unorthodox Warfare in Historic and Modern China (New York: Basic Books, 2007). [Return to Text]
97. “Pluralism” is an umbrella term for several related branches of thought in IR including Liberalism, Neo-Liberalism, Intuitionalism, Idealism and the “English School.” All are affiliated with an overall liberal “World View.” See as staring points: Andrew Moravcsik, “Taking Preferences Seriously: A Liberal Theory of International Politics,” International Organization, vol. 51, no. 4 (Autumn 1997), pp. 513-53; and Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye, Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co., 1977). [Return to Text]
98. John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979); and Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace (New York: Cosimo Classics, 2005). [Return to Text]
99. For an introduction to “soft security” and the “broad” security agenda see Barry Buzan, People, States and Fear (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1991). [Return to Text]
100. Manning and Stern, “The Myth of the Pacific Community,” p. 93. [Return to Text]
101. Jiefangjun Bao, 24 December 1997, “Chinese Army paper on the ‘New Security Concept’,” [Trans. Li Qinggong and Wei Wei]. www.shaps.hawaii.edu/security/china/jiefangjun-new-security-971224.html [Return to Text]
102. Esther Pan, “The promise and Pitfalls of China’s ‘Peaceful Rise’,” Council on Foreign Affairs (April 14, 2006). www.cfr.org/publication/10446/ [Return to Text]
103. Mark T. Berger and Douglas A. Borer, “Introduction: The Rise of East Asia: Critical Visions of the Pacific Century,” in Mark T. Berger and Douglas A. Borer, eds., The Rise of East Asia: Critical Visions of the Pacific Century (London: Routledge, 1997), p. 1. [Return to Text]
104. There exists a dense network of regional organizations with varying memberships. For a conceptual overview see Amitav Acharya, Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia: ASEAN and the Problem of Regional Order (London: Routledge, 2007); and Vinod K. Aggarwal and Charles E. Morrison eds., Asia Pacific Crossroads: Regime Creation and the Future of APEC (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 1998). [Return to Text]
105. Manning and Stern, “The Myth of the Pacific Community,” p. 80. [Return to Text]
106. Michael E. Brown et al., eds., Debating the Democratic Peace (Boston, MA: The MIT Press, 1996). [Return to Text]
107. Tien and Cheng, eds., The Security Environment in the Asia-Pacific, p. 15. [Return to Text]
108. It is impossible to even begin unraveling the debate here. See Steven, C. Roach, ed., Critical Theory and International Relations: A Reader (London: Routledge, 2007); and Cynthia Weber, International Relations Theory: A Critical Introduction (2nd ed., London: Taylor & Francis, 2004). [Return to Text]
109. For a sample of introductory texts see Stefano Guzzini and Anna Leander, eds., Constructivism and International Relations: Alexander Wendt and his Critics (London: Routledge, 2006); Darryl S. L. Jarvis, International Relations and the Challenge of Postmodernism: Defending the Discipline (Columbus, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2000); L. H. M. Ling, Postcolonial International Relations: Conquest and Desire Between Asia and the West, (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002); and Vendulka Kubalkova and Albert A. Cruickshank, Marxism and International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989). Jill Steans, Gender and International Relations: An Introduction (Chapel Hill, NC: Rutgers University Press, 1998). Space precludes mention of the philosophical influences on each school. [Return to Text]
110. Foot and Walter, “Whatever Happened to the Pacific Century?” p. 268. [Return to Text]
111. Immanuel Wallerstein, World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004). [Return to Text]
112. Source: National Bureau of Statistics, China National Development and Reform Commission, cited in The Telegraph (March 6, 2006). [Return to Text]
113. Ken Booth, ed., Critical Security Studies and World Politics (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2005). [Return to Text]
114. J. Ann Tickner, Gender in International Relations: A Feminist Perspective on Achieving Global Security (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992). [Return to Text]
115. “Gender Inequality Serious in China’s Rural Areas,” Peoples Daily (September 8, 2005). english.people.com.cn [Return to Text]
116. China’s total energy efficiency did not change appreciably between 1983/84 and 1997/98. See Zhongguo tongji nianjian 2000 [China Statistical Yearbook 2000] (Beijing: Zhongguo tongji chubanshe, 2000), pp. 55, 246. [Return to Text]
117. For examples of this “long-view” of globalization, see Nayan Chanda, Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007); and Dennis O. Flynn and Arturo Giráldez, “Born with a ‘Silver Spoon’: The Origin of World Trade in 1571,” Journal of World History, vol. 6, no. 2 (Fall 1995): 201-22. [Return to Text]
118. Mike Merrill, “Interview with Herbert Gutman,” in MARHO Radical Historians Organization, Visions of History, Henry Abelove, ed. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), p. 203 [Return to Text]
119. Sorpong Peou, “Withering Realism? A Review of Recent Security Studies on the Asia-Pacific Region,” Pacific Affairs, vol. 75, no. 4 (Winter 2002/3), p. 575. [Return to Text]