“We do not always agree with the Chinese perspective…But it is necessary to understand it, since China will play such a big role in the world that is emerging inthe twenty-first century.”

Henry Kissinger (2011: VXI)

Congratulations to GAI’s Associate Professor Kai He and Dr Huiyun Feng whose research project has been successful in gaining support from the John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation.

How to understand China’s rise and its implications for Asia and the world is an imperative task for both scholars and policy makers. China has become the second largest economy next to the United States since 2010. China is also the major trading partner for over 140 countries in the world. As United States-China relations will define the next century, it is essential to build mutual understanding for policy makers. If strategic distrust is a major obstacle in US-China relations, as Kenneth Lieberthal and Jisi Wang have suggested, deepening our understanding of Chinese perceptions and views on international relations will be a crucial task for bridging the perception gap and mitigating the strategic distrust between the two nations.

This project aims to make sense of China’s rise in world politics through examining Chinese International Relations (IR) scholars’ perceptions and debates on key issues in international relations and Asian security. This project will deepen our understanding of Chinese scholars, especially regarding how they perceive world politics and how they can impact Chinese policy making via internal debates.

With generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Griffith Asia Institute is able to successfully collaborate with Tsinghua University’s Institute of International Relations to carry out survey research as well as conduct the research project on the Chinese IR debates through expert conferences and other academic exchanges. This working paper series will feature major Chinese scholars’ analyses of internal debates and our survey findings.