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Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 19:30

Why Seapower Matters in the South China Sea

Dr. Alessio Patalano, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the Department of War Studies, King's College London


Embassy of Mongolia

2 Xiushui North Street


Menggu Dashiguan 2 Xiushui Bei Jie


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East Asia is on the rise. This region is home to the world's second and third largest economies, dynamic markets like Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, as well as emerging realities like the ASEAN countries. Militarily, this rise became particularly evident in 2012, when for the first time the overall region surpassed Europe in defence spending. Whilst the rise of East Asia as an influential regional system in international affairs is undisputable, less clear is the extent to which the risk of conflict will affect this emergence.

In particular, disputes over maritime boundaries and territorial claims in South China Seas have recently come to the fore as sources of major security concern. Why do these maritime disputes matter in East Asia? How likely are maritime tensions to maintain a prominent role on the regional security agenda in the foreseeable future? What is the likelihood of these disputes to lead to conflict at sea in East Asia?

Dr. Patalano is Senior Lecturer in War Studies at the Department of War Studies, King's College London, and specialises in East Asian maritime security and Japanese naval history and strategy. He is also Research Associate at the King's Lao China Institute. Since 2006, he has been Visiting Lecturer in Naval Strategy and East Asian Security at the Italian Naval War College (ISMM), Venice. In Japan, Dr. Patalano has been a Visiting Scholar at Aoyama Gakuin University and at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), both in Tokyo, and currently is Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University Japan.

Dr. Patalano published in professional and academic journals in English, Japanese, and Italian languages. In 2014, he coordinated a team of international scholars that debated the current military transformation in East Asia in a special issue of the Journal of Strategic Studies titled ‘Rising Tides: Seapower and Regional Security in Northeast Asia’; he also took part to another international project aimed at producing a new three-volume history of World War II for Cambridge University Press, authoring the chapter on Japanese grand strategy from 1937-1945.