Boyer Prize 2022 goes to Dr Denghua Zhang

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We are pleased to share that Dr Denghua Zhang, a Research Fellow with the Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA), has won the revered Boyer Prize for 2022. The Boyer Prize is awarded annually in recognition of the best article published in the Australian Journal of International Affairs (AJIA). Dr Zhang’s insightful article entitled ‘China’s influence and local perceptions: the case of Pacific island countries’ was recognised for its scholarly excellence and significant policy implications.

The Boyer prize panel, consisting of experienced scholars, including Associate Professor William Clapton, Associate Professor Courtney Fung, and Professor Joanne Wallis, commended Dr Zhang’s article for its ambitious and highly relevant nature. In a time marked by growing attention on China’s perceived attempts to influence Pacific island states, Dr Zhang’s work sheds light on this complex dynamic. The panel highlighted the clarity of the research design, the high-quality dataset and the article’s transparency regarding intrinsic limitations of research of this nature.

What stood out in Dr Zhang’s analysis was its incorporation of Pacific viewpoints leading to a nuanced perspective on the role of China in the region. This approach not only broadens our understanding of geopolitical dynamics but also adds depth to discourse on the responses of influence-targeted nations. The panel was impressed with how Dr Zhang’s conclusions extend beyond the specific case he studied, offering valuable insights for broader studies exploring the reactions of influence-targeted entities.

To make Dr Zhang’s award-winning work more accessible, the article itself has been made open-access.
To view Dr. Denghua Zhang’s award-winning article, please visit - China’s influence and local perceptions: the case of Pacific island countries (

DPA extends its congratulations to Dr Denghua Zhang for this remarkable achievement.