Kristin Vekasi will give a talk about conflict in the South China Sea Jan. 12 at the Southwest Harbor Public Library. PHOTO COURTESY OF KRISTIN VEKASI

Camden Conference Talk: Vekasi to discuss tensions in the South China Sea

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Kristin Vekasi will give a talk about how Chinese and American interests have set a course for conflict over the South China Sea Saturday, Jan. 12 at 1:30 p.m. at the Southwest Harbor Public Library.

The talk, titled “Trouble in Chinese Waters: The Trump Administration and China’s Territorial Disputes,” will include discussion of the complex political and economic affairs in the region and policy options to de-escalate military tensions and increase peaceful cooperation.

Vekasi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of Police and International Affairs at the University of Maine. She received her PhD at the University of Wisconsin. Prior to joining the faculty at UMaine, she taught at New College of Florida and served as a visiting Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo and a Fulbright Fellow at Tohoku University.

Vekasi’s research focuses on relations between Japan and China, and how multinational firms manage political risk in a globalized world. Her recent publications discuss how private firms use cultural exchange programs to improve tense international relations, and responses to China’s use of rare earth metals in their economic statecraft.

The talk is part of the Camden Conference, a non-partisan educational nonprofit founded in 1987 with a mission is to foster informed discourse on world issues.

The 32nd annual conference takes place Feb. 22 – 24 in Camden, organized around the theme, “Is This China’s Century?” As China emerges as a major global power, it faces complex challenges in its domestic affairs and its international relations.

This talk is free and all are welcome. Contact the library at 244-7065. Visit or

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