A plethora of work on Chinese foreign policy has sought to decipher what China wants, what its strategies are, and how it implements (or fails to implement) its designs. These efforts have produced a number of sophisticated analyses that provide valuable insights into various aspects of Chinese international behaviour. Nonetheless, these advances in our knowledge have taken place against the background of an increasingly fragmented field. Indeed, there seems to be a widening degree of divergence between the conclusions of various analysts and scholars. Some see China pursuing long-term plans with remarkable patience, precision, and cunning. Others view Chinese foreign policy as suffering from myopia and fragmentation. Some describe China as behaving in ways that are not much different from other rising powers of the past. Others claim China is a new form of great power given its culture, form of governance, or economic and technological advances. In this talk, Professor Todd Hall – drawing upon a co-authored paper with Andrea Ghiselli of Fudan University – seeks to make sense of this diversity, arguing that there may be more complementarity among these approaches than may at first seem.

Speaker: Professor Todd Hall is a Professor of International Relations, a DPIR Tutorial Fellow in Politics, and the Director at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford China Centre.

Discussant: Professor William Hurst, Deputy Director, Chong Hua Professor of Chinese Development.



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