Occasional Papers on Asia

In February 2011, the Center for the Study of Asia launched its first publication, titled Occasional Papers on Asia.  This series will highlight a wide range of topics and issues in relation to Asian Studies and will feature the research of BUCSA’s faculty and fellows.

Occasional Papers on Asia No. 6:

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at Ten: The World According to China, and China According to the World

Author: Rebin Najmalddin (Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University)

February 2024



Occasional Papers on Asia No. 5:

By Land and By Sea: China’s Belt and Road in Europe

Author: Grant Rhode (U.S. Naval War College and Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University)

July 2019




Nakai, Occas Papers on Asia 4 Hague and Aftermath cover

Occasional Papers on Asia No. 4:

South China Sea: Hague and Aftermath

Author: Aki Nakai, Political Science (Boston University)
February 2018

Excerpt: On November 17, 2016, the Center for the Study of Asia (BUCSA) at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies hosted its first New England Asia Seminar to focus on the South China Sea issue since the July 2016 ruling of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China. International lawyer Andrew Loewenstein, Partner at the law firm Foley Hoag in Boston, had represented the Philippines in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague, a dispute resolution mechanism provided by the UNCLOS. Loewenstein kicked off the seminar with his presentation regarding what the UNCLOS rulings meant from an international legal standpoint. Peter Dutton, Director of the China Maritime Studies Institute of the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, then explored the intersection between international law and power in international politics. Michael McDevitt, Rear Admiral of the United States Navy (Retired) and Senior Fellow of the Center for Strategic Studies at the Center for Naval Analyses in Arlington, VA, provided his analysis of strategic implications of the South China Sea disputes. Finally, Taylor Fravel, Associate Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presented his assessment…


Occasional Papers on Asia No. 3:

On the Anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s “Three Fors”: Thirty Years of School Reform in China

Author: Charlotte Sanford Mason –  co-founder and coordinator of GEM (Global Education, Massachusetts) December 2013

Excerpt: In September 2013, China celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s “Three Fors,” a document that launched educational reform in China. The document states, “Education is/should be for modernization, for the world, and for the future.”  What made it such a revolutionary, inspirational, and visionary declaration is the broad interpretation of its stated ideas by China’s educators. During the celebration teachers and officials expressed pride in the progress inspired by Deng Xiaoping, confidence that they will solve ongoing problems, and faith in the “Chinese dream” of an ever-brighter future. Despite the simplicity of Deng’s words in the “Three Fors,” his successors’ broad interpretation of it has set an ambitious course for continued school reform in China. In its sights, not yet achieved, perhaps to be articulated at a fortieth anniversary of the “Three Fors,” are universal K-12 education, including special education, and improved access to quality education for children of migrant workers, minorities, and the rural poor. Looking at the distance traveled in a mere thirty years, it is clear that education in China shows remarkable momentum, achievement, resilience, and promise, its goals aligned with those of other world powers.


Occasional Papers on Asia No.2:

U.S.- China Engagement: Creating a Massachusetts Model for Study in China

Author: Grant F. Rhode, PhD Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University July 2013

Excerpt: In the first decades of the twenty-first century, China has emerged as America’s strategically most important bilateral partner and potential bilateral rival. Thus, the United States has turned its commercial, political, and security focus towards the Pacific Rim. In this environment, it has become increasingly important to produce an informed citizenry, better prepared to understand the complexities of the U.S.- China relationship. In 2010-2011, approximately 158,000 Chinese students studied in the U.S., while only 12,000 American students studied in China. The imbalance in these numbers suggests that the U.S. may be less equipped to manage its relationship with China than China will be to deal with the U.S.


BUCSA_OccassionalPaper1_web-1Occasional Papers on Asia No. 1:

China’s Naval Modernization: Reflections on a Symposium

Author: Aki Nakai, Political Science (Boston University)
February 2011

Excerpt: The “rise of China” is on everyone’s lips these days, with the conversation being driven both by China’s rapid economic development and its military modernization. On November 9, 2010, the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia hosted a symposium that focused on one aspect of China’s rise: its naval modernization. Professor Andrew Bacevich of Boston University kicked off the afternoon with an opening address that posed the central question: Are China and the United States on a collision course? This question was then explored by Lyle Goldstein, Nan Li, Peter Dutton, and Toshi Yoshihara of the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and Professor Robert Ross of Boston College. Comments and questions were raised by Professors Joseph Fewsmith and Michael Corgan of the Department of International Relations at Boston University. The broad answer the group came up with was “not necessarily.” Whether there is conflict or not depends on the capabilities and intentions of the United States and China, their ability to communicate reassurance to each other, as well as the impact of China’s naval modernization on other regional powers, particularly Japan.