China has substantially increased its engagement with Pacific Island countries since 2006, driving heightened geostrategic competition between traditional powers and China in the region. Research on Pacific Island countries by Chinese scholars has grown rapidly in recent years, but this development and its relationship with policy needs are little-known outside China. By analyzing the 129 journal articles published by Chinese scholars on Pacific studies between 2006-2019, with supporting interviews, this research aims to expand the debate on the policy-research nexus, especially in the Chinese context, by introducing Pacific studies in China. It argues that official policy needs have largely shaped Pacific studies in China, and that researchers who seek to influence policy-making tend to find the process slow and indirect. This research will also improve our understanding of Chinese scholarsâ€™ intellectual support of Chinaâ€™s Pacific diplomacy on certain topics.