Philippe Régnier and Pietro P. Masina

Gregory Coutaz


The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) engagement in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) enables China to reassure the international community and change perceptions of its global intentions. Natural disasters are expected to increase worldwide, requiring greater PLA involvement in international HA/DR missions. However, maximising the public relations benefits of participating in such missions will require leadership to avoid short-term irritations and political speculation that often accompany China’s foreign intervention, hampering Beijing’s soft-power initiatives.

Takdir Ali Mukti, Tulus Warsito, Surwandono, Idham Badruzaman and Ulung Pribadi


This article focuses on paradiplomatic management in Aceh, Indonesia, and Catalonia, Spain, as a comparative study. The two different regions have at least two similar characteristics: both are recognised by central government as widely autonomous provinces compared to other provinces, and both obtained the wider autonomy in the same period, 2006; they also have same problems with revolutionary groups that attempt to withdraw from central government. This qualitative research aims to examine paradiplomatic management in both local governments. The main objective is to identify similarities and differences in paradiplomatic patterns and to scrutinise paradiplomatic activism pertaining to the instrument of political movements in both regions. The findings confirm that patterns of paradiplomacy management are typically similar, and influenced by the dynamic of local political movements, and that paradiplomatic activism is an instrument in political movements. It is argued that paradiplomatic management by secessionist regions performs the same pattern both in federal and unitary systems, and is reflected in the changes of regional laws on paradiplomatic affairs.

The ‘Same Bed, Different Dreams’ of Vietnam and China

How (Mis)trust Could Make or Break It

Quan-Hoang Vuong, Thu-Trang Vuong, Manh-Tung Ho and Hong-Kong T. Nguyen


Vietnam–China relations could be captured in the Chinese expression ‘同床异梦’, ‘same bed, different dreams’. Analysing Vietnam–China’s asymmetric relationship, cultural and political similarities, divergences in global ambition and the involvement of foreign powers, this study shows how the relationship is increasingly interdependent but is equally fragile. One possible cause is the low level of trust on both sides, evidenced by repeated calls to ‘consolidate political trust’ or ‘enhance mutual trust’ in their high-level bilateral dialogues.

Understanding the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

An Initiative to Make China Great Again?

Y.-Y. Chang


This article re-examines China’s proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) taking into account historical and philosophical narratives. It assumes that the BRI has crucial strategic implications; in particular, that it is not as altruistic as claimed but rather a self-interested proposal aiming to restore China’s grandeur and influence. The Chinese Dream (中國夢) and the concept of Tianxia (天下), ‘all under heaven’) are discussed to illustrate how the initiative is ‘marketed’. It ends with an interpretation of the impacts that the BRI might have on other parts of the world.


Edited by Jamie Doucette and Bae-Gyoon Park

Developmentalist Cities addresses the missing urban story in research on East Asian developmentalism and the missing developmentalist story in studies of East Asian urbanization. It does so by promoting inter-disciplinary research into the subject of urban developmentalism: a term that editors Jamie Doucette and Bae-Gyoon Park use to highlight the particular nature of the urban as a site of and for developmentalist intervention. The contributors to this volume deepen this concept by examining the legacy of how Cold War and post-Cold War geopolitical economy, spaces of exception (from special zones to industrial districts), and diverse forms of expertise have helped produce urban space in East Asia.

Contributors: Carolyn Cartier, Christina Kim Chilcote, Young Jin Choi, Jamie Doucette, Eli Friedman, Jim Glassman, Heidi Gottfried, Laam Hae, Jinn-yuh Hsu, Iam Chong Ip, Jin-Bum Jang, Soo-Hyun Kim, Jana M. Kleibert, Kah Wee Lee, Seung-Ook Lee, Christina Moon, Bae-Gyoon Park, Hyun Bang Shin.