Transitions in order are not only products of transitions in power, but also products of transitions in shared ideas. This seminar examines the role of shared ideas through the lens of China’s involvement in shaping the transition to a post-World War II economic order at Bretton Woods. Drawing on new Chinese-language archival materials, the seminar focuses on how and with what success China sought to shape global ideas about three interlocking strands of thinking at Bretton Woods: development, the role of the state in the domestic economy, and managed multilateralism.
China’s assertive presence in Oceania has provided alternative opportunities for Pacific Island governments, is welcomed with cautious optimism by observers, and has raised concerns, especially for the metropolitan powers that have long dominated the region.
Pacific Island governments now engage with China through diplomatic partnerships, trade, aid, investments, infrastructure developments, and commerce. Beijing has posed itself as an alternative power, which is changing the regional order.