Wednesday, June 26 • 16:45 - 18:15
Fisheries and the Maritime Silk Road Initiative. Insights from Southeast Asia and West Africa

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Chaired by: Hornidge, A.K. & Alff, H.

 Fisheries and the Maritime Silk Road Initiative. Insights from Southeast Asia and West Africa 
Anna-Katharina Hornidge & Henryk Alff 
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) & University of Bremen 

Over the last four decades China evolved as a leading nation in global fisheries with the by far largest distant water fishing fleet operating in numerous EEZs and the high seas. Since the turn of the millennium, questions regarding the access to biological resources from the ocean as well as food security concerns have gained attention in Chinese ocean-related policy-making. Chinese fishing companies at the same time have heavily invested into fleets and fish processing plants, including in Southeast Asia and West Africa. Announced in fall 2013 by China’s president Xi Jinping as a vision for future connectivity and mutually beneficial development between China and partners in Asia, Africa and Europe, the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) has been controversially discussed as a vehicle for global infrastructural improvement and cooperation and as an instrument for China’s increasing expansion into the oceanic sphere alike. While the MSRI appears prominently in geopolitical debates around the construction of ports and the transport of hydrocarbons, local-level negotiations and materialisations of the MSRI through Chinese claims on marine biological resources call for a closer, empirically-based study of the fisheries sector as vehicle of MSRI expansion. The here proposed panel thus asks, how China’s large-scale drive towards global leadership in face of the MSRI pans out in particularly conflictive marine biological resources use and trade in the South China Sea as well as the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The selected papers will engage with questions of how the MSRI has to be spatially and politically conceptualized and how it might be reshaped/-thought in the future, taking Chinese fisheries and related infrastructures in these geographically diverse waters as empirically defining. We thus understand the socio-spatial materialisation of Chinese fisheries not through the lens of territorial domination, but as a process of negotiation between differently positioned (and mobile) agents and thus as socially embedded in and spatially constructed through mutual interrelations/-actions.

Customary institutions and Access to Marine Resources: Examining Entanglement and Legitimacy
Jacqueline Lau, Joshua E Cinner, Michael Fabinyi, Georgina G Gurney & Christina C Hicks

Across much of the Pacific, marine resource use and management continues to be shaped by customary institutions like marine tenure and taboo areas. However, alongside the socio-economic shifts accompanying capitalism and modernity, forms and practices of customary systems are changing. In this context, we aim to contribute to the theoretical treatment of access to marine resources by drawing on ideas from political ecology (legitimacy) and anthropology (entanglement). We hypothesize that where customary and modern forms of resource management co-exist, changes in customary institutions will also change people's ability to and means of benefiting from resources. We ask a) what are the constellations of social, economic, and institutional mechanisms that enable or hinder access to a range of coral reef resources; and b) how are these constellations shifting as different elements of customary institutions gain or lose legitimacy in the process of entanglement with modernity? Through a qualitative mixed-methods case study in a coastal atoll community in Papua New Guinea, we identify key access mechanisms across the several marine value chains. Our study finds the legitimacy of customary systems - and thus their power in shaping access - has eroded unevenly for some resources, and some people within the community (e.g. younger men), and less for others (e.g. women), and that access to different resources are shaped by specific mechanisms, which vary along the value chain. Our findings suggest that attention to entanglement and legitimacy can help capture the dynamic and relational aspects of power that shape how people navigate access to resources in a changing world. We contend that viewing power as relational illuminates how customary institutions lose or gain legitimacy as they become entangled with modernity.

China's Maritime Policy and "The Belt and Road"
Jiawei Wang

Ancient China was a nation focused on land, the emperor of ancient China made land development to the top priority of nation development and protect the nation security. In the Yongle reign of Ming dynasty, a huge fleet of ships set sail from Nanjing. The voyage was led by Zheng He. Zheng He opend up trade routs in Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. Zheng let the world know about China through peaceful diplomacy. In the recent year, as countries around the world have turned their eyes to the ocean, China has begun to pay attention to the development of the ocean, China has put forward the “Belt and Road” to maintain an open world economic system, and achieve diversified, independent, balanced, and sustainable development, and advance regional cooperation, strengthen communications between civilizations, and safeguard world peace and stability. This paper will review the maritime policy proposed by Chinese government and the maritime diplomacy carried out in recent years, and introduce China’s maritime policy and the“Belt and Road”. It provides ideas for countries to cooperate with China in the Marine flied, jointly protect the earth, develop Marine economy and safeguard Marine security.

Wednesday June 26, 2019 16:45 - 18:15
REC A2.06 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam