The False Economy of Geoeconomics

At an ARTNet Seminar in January 2020, Shiro Armstrong discussed the intertwined relationship between economic and security policies amidst the ongoing strategic competition between the United States and China. He explored the challenges middle powers, such as Australia and Japan, face in maintaining a balance between their security and economic interests without being drawn into a binary alignment with either superpower.

Armstrong argued that these economic and security considerations have become increasingly entwined, creating a complex and potentially damaging dynamic. He suggested that the rise of China, increased protectionism in the United States, and the emergence of new technologies lacking international regulation are causing the risks of international exchange to dominate policy considerations.

In this complex and uncertain international landscape, Armstrong emphasised the need for a strategic deployment of regional and plurilateral coalitions. Such coalitions could generate bottom-up rules that engage both China and the United States, and in doing so, complement, preserve, and strengthen the multilateral system, rather than replace it. This approach, he suggested, could help mitigate global economic uncertainties and maintain a balance between economic growth and security.

Dates: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Location: Bangkok, Thailand