China in Oceania: Reshaping the Pacific? (Dislocations)

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9781845456320: China in Oceania: Reshaping the Pacific? (Dislocations)
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It is important to see China’s activities in the Pacific Islands, not just in terms of a specific set of interests, but in the context of Beijing’s recent efforts to develop a comprehensive and global foreign policy. China’s policy towards Oceania is part of a much larger outreach to the developing world, a major work in progress that involves similar initiatives in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. This groundbreaking study of China’s “soft power” initiatives in these countries offers, for the first time, the diverse perspectives of scholars and diplomats from Oceania, North American, China, and Japan. It explores such issues as regional competition for diplomatic and economic ties between Taiwan and China, the role of overseas Chinese in developing these relationships, and various analyses of the benefits and drawbacks of China’s growing presence in Oceania. In addition, the reader obtains a rare review of the Japanese response to China’s role in Oceania, presented by Japan’s leading scholar of the Pacific region.

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About the Author:

Edgar A. Porter is Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in Japan. Prior to joining APU he was Interim Dean of the School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawai’i. He is the author of Foreign Teachers in China: Old Problems for a New Generation (Greenwood 1990) and The People’s Doctor: George Hatem and China’s Revolution (University of Hawai’i Press 1997).

Review:

“Wesley-Smith and Porter have provided an invaluable broadening of perspectives to the topic of China and the Pacific Islands. The volume’s arguments are compelling... While it remains unclear whether or not China is ‘reshaping the Pacific’, future analysis of this question must henceforth give equal weight to Pacific Islander and Chinese perspectives thanks to Wesley-Smith and Porter’s astute choice of contributors and overarching vision.” · The Journal of Pacific History

“...the first volume to focus exclusively on the South Pacific region, offering perspectives from Oceania, China, Japan and North America in assessing the impact on and implications for Oceania of China’s engagement. The inclusion of a range of Pacific Island perspectives is one of the most valuable contributions of this volume, as the ‘view from the Pacific’ is often neglected... [It] will be of interest to Pacific scholars and policymakers seeking to understand more about China’s engagement in the region, and to the rapidly growing group whose interests lie in analyzing the implications of China’s economic, political and development assistance engagement with the developing world.” · Pacific Affairs

“The wide audience of individuals who want to more fully understand Chinese foreign policy in general and the Chinese approach to Oceania in particular should read this book. The authors conclude that, while Oceania is important to China, Chinese policy toward the region is part of a larger policy shift toward the developing world overall. It challenges the sometimes disingenuous threat discourse pervading the existing literature on the topic and argues that China’s presence offers opportunities not available under established structures of power and influence. It will be fascinating to see who is right.” · Asia Pacific World

“[This volume] is not just timely, but it resides in a field where interest is growing strongly. For any University course teaching China’s foreign relations, it would comprise a highly recommended source – in particular for any component dealing with China’s relations with the developing world.” · Roderic Alley, Senior Fellow, Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington

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