- Code PASI8306
- Unit Value 3 units
- Offered by Department of Pacific Affairs
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Pacific Studies
- Areas of interest Pacific Studies, Asia Pacific Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Dr Graeme Smith
- Mode of delivery Online or In Person
Spring Session 2021
See Future Offerings
This course is available for in-person and remote (online) learning. Remote (online) and in-person students participate together in the same class.
Over the last two decades the Peoples Republic of China has become a major aid donor, trade partner, and source of investment in the Pacific Islands. This is one of the most significant developments in the region in recent times with implications for the diplomatic priorities of Pacific Islands states as well as the aspirations of ordinary Pacific Islanders. This course looks at the history of China’s rise, the nature of its interests in the region, as well as the response of more established external actors like Australia, New Zealand, and the United States to Beijing’s increased regional influence. This course will examine China’s changing role in the Pacific, with a focus on Pacific and Chinese perspectives. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the People’s Republic of China’s motivations for engaging with the Pacific, with a particular focus on Chinese state and non-state actors involved in aid, investment, migration and diplomacy in the Pacific.
Key questions include: how have Pacific Islands states benefitted from or been disadvantaged by China’s increased regional profile? Will they be able to retain their sovereignty as the rivalry between China and the US intensifies? How do ordinary citizens view these developments, particularly as Chinese companies and Chinese nationals become more active in their communities?
Topics covered under the course:
- Changing Geopolitics in the Pacific
- The Belt and Road is here: China’s economic engagement with the Pacific
- China Aid: Debt Traps, Win-Win and South-South Cooperation
- Chinese Migration to the Pacific and Diaspora Management
- The New Pacific Diplomacy: Island Responses to China’s Rise
- Stepping Up and Resetting: Traditional Powers Respond to China’s Pacific Rise
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Describe and discuss important aspects of China’s rise as a global power, and the nature of its activities in Oceania.
- Discuss the impact of China’s increased profile on existing relations of power in the region, particularly traditional Western diplomatic partners like the US, Australia, and New Zealand
- Analyse the institutional foundations underlying China’s aid, investment, migration and diplomacy in the Pacific.
- Evaluate the implications of China’s rise for the present circumstances and future aspirations of ordinary Pacific islanders.
- Research Essay (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Podcast script (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Podcast (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
12 hours contact time and 50 - 60 hours of independent study
Peter Cai (2017) Understanding China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Lowy Institute.
William Callahan (2016) China’s “Asia Dream”: The Belt and Road Initiative and the New Regional Order. Asian Journal of Comparative Politics. 1-18.
Rohan Fox and Matthew Dornan (2018) China in the Pacific: Is China engaged in “debt-trap diplomacy”? Dev Policy Blog, 8 November.
Ryan Manuel (2019) Twists in the Belt and Road. China Leadership Monitor. 1-17.
Jessica Marinaccio (2019) Rearticulating Diplomatic Relationships: Contextualizing Tuvalu-Taiwan Relations. The Contemporary Pacific. 31(2), 448-475.
Alice Miller (2018) Valedictory: Analyzing the Chinese Leadership in an Era of Sex, Money, and Power. China Leadership Monitor. 57. 1-17.
Graeme Smith (2013) Beijing’s orphans? New Chinese Investors in Papua New Guinea. Pacific Affairs. 86(2), 327-349.
Graeme Smith and Terence Wesley-Smith (eds.) The China Alternative? Changing Geopolitics in the Pacific (ANU Press, 2020).
Meg Taylor (2015) The Future of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Framework for Pacific Regionalism. In Greg Fry and Sandra Tarte (eds) The New Pacific Diplomacy. ANU Press.
Anote Tong (2015) “Charting its Own Course”: A Paradigm Shift in Pacific Diplomacy. In Greg Fry and Sandra Tarte (eds) The New Pacific Diplomacy. ANU Press
Joseph Torigian (2018) Historical Legacies and Leaders’ Worldviews: Communist Party History and Xi’s Learned (And Unlearned) Lessons. China Perspectives. 1–2: 7–15.
Yu Changsen (2016) The Pacific Islands in China’s Geo-Strategic Thinking. In Michael Powles (ed) China and the Pacific: The View from Oceania. Victoria University Press.
Denghua Zhang and Graeme Smith (2017) China’s foreign aid system: structure, agencies, and identities. Third World Quarterly. 38(10): 2330-2346. Denghua Zhang (2019) Comparing China’s and Taiwan’s Aid to the Pacific. DPA In Brief 2019/20. ANU, Department of Pacific Affairs.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 3 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.