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Red Flags or Silver Linings? Crisis (In)Stability in the East China Sea and China’s and Japan’s New National Security Councils, Adam Liff - CWP Fellow

Dec 9, 2014 · 4:30 p.m.– 6:00 p.m. · Bowl 2, Robertson Hall

Since September 2012 frictions between Beijing and Tokyo over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea have become unprecedentedly unstable. Even an accident stemming from a low-level encounter could quickly escalate into a major crisis between the world’s second- and third-largest economies. This talk examines China’s and Japan’s crisis management mechanisms and the implications of nascent national security councils--established by both governments last year--for stability in the East China Sea. In addition to an overview of recent developments concerning the (de facto) territorial dispute itself, it will examine the prospects for, and obstacles to, more effective crisis management and institutional reforms.

Adam P. Liff specializes in international relations of East Asia, with a focus on Chinese and Japanese security policy and the U.S. role in the region. He is on leave from Indiana University, where he is an assistant professor in the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department of IU’s new School of Global and International Studies ( Adam's publications include peer-reviewed articles in International Security,The China Quarterly, and Journal of Strategic Studies; analytical pieces for Foreign Policy, The National Interest, Asan Forum, The Diplomat, PacNet, Asia-Pacific Bulletin, among others; and several book chapters in edited volumes. He has held research affiliations at Peking University, University of Tokyo, Harvard Kennedy School, University of Virginia, Stanford University's PKU Center, Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE), and RAND Corporation. Adam holds a B.A. from Stanford University (with Distinction, With Honors, and Phi Beta Kappa), and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University. More information about Adam is available on his website (, and you can follow him on Twitter @AdamPLiff. You can email him at apl @ He is in residence at Princeton University and has posted his office hours on WASS.