China's motives, influence and prospects in Pacific Island countries: views of Chinese scholars

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    China’s rise in the Pacific has brought the region into the limelight, but research into the views of Chinese scholars of Pacific Studies is limited. Building on a survey and interviews of 39 Chinese scholars, this article analyses China’s motives, influence, and prospects in the Pacific. It finds out that Chinese scholars list China’s diplomatic strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative, and economic interests as the three main causes of China’s Pacific diplomacy. The majority of these scholars rate the performance of China’s Pacific diplomacy as pass/average. Most Chinese scholars are cautiously optimistic about the Belt and Road Initiative in the Pacific, and they expect China to both compete and cooperate with traditional powers in the Pacific in the foreseeable future. Some of these scholars’ views on issues like the China–Taiwan diplomatic competition and the impact of Chinese aid on local corruption contradict the official Chinese line strikingly.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-27
    JournalInternational Relations of the Asia-Pacific
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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