China and Western powers are competing for influence in the Global South. Little known, however, is the perceptions these developing countries have of China.

Using the Pacific region as a case study, this seminar will discuss China’s influence overseas. It is based on Denghua Zhang’s extensive research across the region, especially his recent surveys of different groups such as Pacific scholars, university students, recipients of Chinese government scholarships, civil societies and ordinary people in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tonga. The seminar will reveal the nuances in local perceptions of China, the opportunities and challenges faced by China, and the implications for traditional powers and Pacific states in the context of growing geostrategic competition.

About the speaker
Dr Denghua Zhang
 is a research fellow in the Department of Pacific Affairs at The Australian National University. His research focuses on Chinese foreign policy, foreign aid and China in the Pacific. Recently, he has published with journals such as Third World Quarterly, Australian Journal of International Affairs, The Pacific ReviewPacific AffairsInternational Relations of the Asia-PacificThe Round TableAsian Journal of Political ScienceSecurity Challenges and Journal of Pacific History. His research article ‘China’s Influence and Local Perceptions: the Case of Pacific Island Countries’ won the Boyer prize for the best article in the Australian Journal of International Affairs in 2022. His book A Cautious New Approach: China’s Growing Trilateral Aid Cooperation is among the ANU Press’ top ten new releases for 2020.

About the chair
Amy King is Associate Professor in the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre at The Australian National University, and Deputy Director (Research) in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. She is the author of China-Japan Relations after World War Two: Empire, Industry and War, 1949-1971 (Cambridge University Press, 2016). The holder of an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship and a Westpac Research Fellowship, she leads a team researching China’s role in shaping the international economic order.


 If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please contact the event organiser.

This seminar series is part of a research project on How China Shapes the International Economic Order, generously funded by the Westpac Scholars Trust and the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, and led by A/Professor Amy King from the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

Event details

Event date

Fri, 8 Mar 2024, 12:30 - 2pm

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