The Seven Chinas and Value Politics in the Post-Hegemonic Era


What forces, or narratives, shape Chinese foreign policy? We can see a spectrum of such policy narratives which I call the seven Chinas. They can be arranged in chronological order, starting with the ancient idea of China as the self-sufficient civilisation, and culminating, for now, with that of China as herald of the high frontier, safeguarding a new world order.
At times blending in stable or unstable, safe or risky combinations, they are explored here as identities: answers to questions about the national community, its boundaries, conscious interests and unconscious motivations.

About the Speaker
Dr. David Kelly leads research at China Policy, with main responsibility for the geopolitics team. Over thirty years his work has ranged widely across issues affecting China’s economic, political, and social institutions. These threads combine in his current work on China’s strategic positioning, political risk and the external impact of domestic policy. He models policy risk with the aid of a three dimensional paradigm: legacy issues specific to Chinese history; ‘deep troubles’ that all policies seek to address; and China’s official belief system, the unspoken accompaniment of policy development. His close engagement with academic and research institutions in China affords him access to the conversation on governance and reform among the government’s senior advisors.

Dr. Kelly is also a regular media commentator on Chinese affairs including for the BBC, the ABC, the Financial Times, Al Jezzera, Sky News and Voice of America. He is a visiting professor at Peking University. He holds a PhD from the University of Sydney.

Sponsor: Centre for Chinese Research