Chinese Foreign Policy

  • The Xi Jinping Doctrine of China’s International Relations (9/16/2019) - I have published an article on the Xi Jinping doctrine of China’s international relations in the July 2019 issue of Asia Policy. Here is an abstract: The Xi Jinping doctrine, conceived as the collective body of thought embodied in Xi’s remarks, writings, and instructions, offers an entry to the deep currents of China’s thinking about international … Continue reading
  • China’s Curious Nonchalance Towards the Indo-Pacific (5/22/2019) - I have published a new article on Chinese assessments of the Indo-Pacific strategic construct in the June 2019 issue of Survival. Here is an abstract: A sort of nonchalance has characterized China’s attitude toward the Indo-Pacific strategic construct. This is puzzling given the elevation of the Indo-Pacific to a whole-of-government strategy by the Donald J. Trump … Continue reading
  • Is China capable of providing international stability? (4/30/2019) - China has become something of a punching bag for Western criticism. At the East Asia Summit in Singapore last year, US Vice President Mike Pence insinuated that China is pushing ‘empire and aggression’ in the Indo-Pacific. Disgruntlement with China dominated November’s Stockholm China Forum meeting, a gathering of American, Chinese and European ambassadors, diplomats, scholars, … Continue reading
  • China’s Strategic Calculus toward Southeast Asia (10/2/2018) - I have published a new article on China-Southeast Asia relations in the Fall 2018 issue of The Washington Quarterly. Here is an abstract: A conventional wisdom among many international observers holds that China’s recent strategy toward Southeast Asia is self-defeating because its assertiveness in the South China Sea has reignited regional fears of China’s power … Continue reading
  • The China–North Korea relationship: more of the same (4/12/2018) - When Kim Jong-un visited Beijing in late March, the world took notice. That was Kim’s first visit to China—and his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping—since he became North Korea’s ruler in December 2011.
  • Is China changing its strategy towards North Korea? (4/5/2018) - Something paradoxical has happened in Chinese thinking about North Korea. US President Donald Trump’s impulsive decision to accept North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s invitation to a summit has stunned China, as it has many other countries. But other than South Korea, China should be the country most elated about such a summit.
  • China’s Policy Towards Southeast Asia During Xi Jinping’s Second Term (1/7/2018) - No major change is likely to occur in China’s policy towards Southeast Asia in Xi’s second term, but the perceived policy success during his first term and a new confidence are likely to generate a new push to achieve even greater gains. Read China’s Policy Towards Southeast Asia during Xi Jinping’s Second Term (EAI Bulletin Nov … Continue reading
  • Striving for power: Chinese foreign policy in Xi Jinping’s ‘new era’ (11/13/2017) - President Xi Jinping has emerged out of last month’s 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party as a new paramount leader of China on a par with Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Deng Xiaoping, engineer of the reform policy that has delivered China’s economic rise. It is an extraordinary … Continue reading
  • Learning lessons, not scoring points, from the Doklam standoff (9/7/2017) - The 10-week-long standoff between Chinese and Indian forces in the Doklam region of the Himalayas was peacefully resolved on 28 August. This is a victory for diplomacy on both sides. The temptation to score points and declare winners and losers is, however, hard to resist. Analysts from both China and India, as well as other … Continue reading
  • Is a second Sino-Indian border war imminent? (8/10/2017) - The Sino-Indian standoff in the Doklam (Donglang in Chinese) region of the Himalayas where the borders of China, India and Bhutan converge is now nearly two months old. The dispute arose in mid-June when China attempted to build a road in an area it believed to be under its sovereign control, provoking Indian authorities to block the construction by crossing the Sino-Indian border with troops and bulldozers. Continue reading
  • Can China take advantage of America’s strategic deficit in Asia—and mind its own, too? (6/15/2017) - America’s strategic deficit in the Asia–Pacific region was in plain sight during the recent Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Although North Korea was a key concern for all participants, many—especially those from Southeast Asia and Australia—found China’s strategic intention a more serious long-term challenge than North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles program. But this year, with the new Trump administration in Washington, they couldn’t count on the US to alleviate their anxiety. Continue reading
  • The BRI and China’s new regional strategy (5/31/2017) - What, exactly, is China trying to do with the vast Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, formally known as One Belt, One Road) by building connectivity across the whole Eurasian continent? Since President Xi Jinping launched the project in 2013, three narratives have dominated discussions about it—two from China and one mainly from the outside world.
  • What does China want for Asia–Pacific security in 2017? (2/1/2017) - Chinese officials have hailed 2016 as a great year for China’s Asia–Pacific policy. On top of all other successes, Beijing defeated a perceived regional attempt to pressure China into accepting the South China Sea arbitration ruling released in July. Then, much to its delight, the new President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, initiated a ‘pivot’ … Continue reading
  • Is China ready to resume its imperial glory? (8/18/2015) - Since assuming the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership in November 2012, Chinese president Xi Jinping’s great ambitions have become well known. Domestically, he’s advanced the grand goal of what he calls the China Dream: ‘the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people’. He has surprised virtually every observer by the speed and efficiency with which he’s … Continue reading


Feng Zhang is a Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University’s Department of International Relations, Deputy Director (Higher Degree by Research) of the ANU’s Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, and a member of the executive committee of the Australian Centre on China in the World based at the ANU. His research focuses on Chinese foreign policy, Asia-Pacific security, and international relations theory. He is also Adjunct Professor at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in China.

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