Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

On April 9th, 2024, the Mansfield Foundation hosted a discussion featuring Professor Matteo Dian of the University of Bologna, Italy on the reactions to the war in Ukraine from the perspective of U.S. allies in Europe and East Asia. This was followed by a short discussion with Dr. Naoko Aoki of the RAND corporation, and a Q&A with attendees.

Professor Dian began by explaining the reactions to the war in Ukraine were based on several determinants; threat perception, strategic interactions with China and Russia, the country’s support of the Liberal International Order, the level of economic independence from Russia and their general economic fragility. Professor Dian then discussed the responses from Europe,  Japan and South Korea. He noted that East European and Scandinavia countries have provided the most support in terms of shared GDP. He also explained that Japan has provided limited military support including anti-drone technology, military gear, and civilian drones as well as economic, and humanitarian support, while South Korea has provided economic and logistical support. Professor Dian continued by discussing the “Neutral Zone”, consisting of South and South-East Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa, and Latin America. He noted that unlike European and East Asian countries, the Neutral Zone was less responsive to the War, due to factors including China’s influence and the Soviet legacy and their dependency on Russia for weapons and raw minerals. Professor Dian concluded by listing four key developments: the steps Japan has taken, cooperation between various countries and NATO, the creation of global polarization and the development of the Neutral Zone.

The roundtable was followed by a short discussion between Professor Dian and Dr. Naoko Aoki and a Q&A with the audience. The speakers answered questions about global polarization, Russian nuclear rhetoric, and implications of defense budget changes in Europe.