“Insights on strategic development: the case of Philippine economic vulnerability to Chinese coercion” (2017/02/21)

Date: February 21st (Tues.) 16:00 – 18:00
Venue: Tonan-tei (Room No. 201), Inamori Foundation Memorial Building, CSEAS, Kyoto University

Title: Insights on strategic development: the case of Philippine economic vulnerability to Chinese coercion
Speaker: Dr. Tina S. Clemente, Associate Professor at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines-Diliman
Moderator: Caroline Hau (CSEAS)

The research aims to evaluate the vulnerability of the Philippine economy to positive and/or negative economic coercion. While we use the context of the bilateral relationship with China in demonstrating the arguments, the underlying principles allow generality in application. Drawing on multiple disciplines and information sources, we frame the notion of vulnerability as weak economic health, particularly a lack of inclusive development. We engage the discourse and evaluate strategic economic considerations in critical sectors. We also employ informant interviews and descriptive statistics to investigate nuances in economic vulnerability.

We make the case for the crucial role of inclusive development as the bedrock of national security and statecraft that fundamentally enriches strategic choices in foreign economic relations. The discussion begins with the context of perceptions, followed by a discussion on the analytical framework of vulnerability. The final section elucidates the vulnerabilities and strategic potential of three economic sectors―Bananas, Mining and Electronics―as contrasting focal illustrations. For Philippine analysts, the research not only underscores the utility of the oft-overlooked strategic economic analysis in foreign relations but it also uses the bilateral tension to demonstrate the urgent salience of inclusive development in building resistance and resilience to coercive levers.

About the Speaker
Tina S. Clemente is an Associate Professor at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines-Diliman. She specializes in China Studies and Development. Her research interests include various aspects of the (1) economics-security nexus in Philippines-China relations, (2) socio-economic development and foreign economic relations of China, (3) the intellectual history of China Studies in the Philippines, and (4) Chinese in the Philippines. She is an experienced program/project manager and author in research engagements. Dr. Clemente has held associate, senior and issue editorships in international journals. She is the current President of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies (PACS).