The University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, which is based at UC San Diego, received a grant of $500,000 to support the institute’s annual Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD), a forum which convenes policy-level officials from China, Russia, North and South Korea, Japan and the United States to candidly discuss urgent security topics in Northeast Asia.
The Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue provides a rare opportunity for government, military officials and leading academics from Northeast Asian countries and the United States to come together to exchange views and improve understanding on a wide range of political, economic, military and strategy topics. The recent grant from the philanthropic foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, will provide funds for the organization of the annual event through 2019. The funding will also be used to help lay the groundwork to eventually establish a Track One multilateral security dialogue in Northeast Asia, which is considered an official, governmental diplomacy effort.
“This grant plays a key role in making possible the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, which has provided an important and trusted platform to address security issues in Northeast Asia for more than two decades,” said Tai Ming Cheung, director of IGCC and professor at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. “The funding fuels our scholars’ collaborative efforts to inform policy thinking and promote engagement and cooperation both in the United States and Northeast Asia.”
The Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, held yearly since 1993, brings together high level officials managing Asia policy with a key goal of building trust amongst its counterparts, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and its neighbors. The talks allow for the discussion of timely topics, ranging from economics and society to cybersecurity and nuclear weapons.
The dialogue also focuses on supporting defense transparency—a process in which governments share information about their military power and activities, budgetary matters and intentions—among its members. In addition to the forum, the funding also supports the publication of regular updates to the Defense Transparency Index, which measures transparency among the six states in and around Northeast Asia.
“A number of conflicts that stem from historical mistrust and Cold War animosities persist in Northeast Asia, which is why we created this dialogue with the goal of building official multilateral security cooperation,” says Susan Shirk, founder of the NEACD and director emeritus of IGCC at UC San Diego. Shirk is a research professor and chair of the School of Global Policy and Strategy’s 21st Century China Center. “The forum invites officials in their private capacity to discuss subjects ranging from the North Korean economy to U.S. and China relations, to build trust and find solutions.”
The IGCC, which was established in 1982, seeks to build bridges between the theory and practice of international policy. Researchers associated with the institute study a wide range of topics involving security, environmental and economic policies that shape our ability to prevent conflicts and promote cooperation.