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China Foresight

Analysing Chinese strategy, foreign policy and influence from the inside out.

China Foresight focuses on the internal drivers and global implications of Chinese foreign policy and strategy. On the one hand, this includes understanding the domestic policy making processes and ongoing debates among Chinese academics and senior policy makers. On the other, the programme analyses the global implications of China’s rise across different regions and sectors. By making use of its affiliation to a world-leading research university, China Foresight aims to deliver policy relevant and actionable advice to strategic circles in the UK and beyond to further a better understanding of Chinese foreign policy and help formulate constructive policy responses by connecting academic knowledge of diplomacy and strategy with the people who use it.

China Foresight Forum

The China Foresight Forum is a platform for discussion and collaboration among leading China-watchers. Hosted by China Foresight, the Forum represents a unique synthesis of academics and practitioners, spanning security, economic, financial, technological and diplomatic areas of expertise. Through distinctive contributions derived from this multidisciplinary collaboration, the Forum aims to challenge conventional wisdom on China’s role in the world and contribute to the formulation of an informed UK foreign policy.


The Forum comprises a wide range of expertise on China.  

Professor Christopher Alden, Professor of International Relations, LSE IDEAS

Gordon Barrass, Visiting Professor, LSE IDEAS

Hannah Bretherton, Member Engagement & Project Manager, Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce; Affiliate, Lau China Institute

Professor William Callahan, Professor of International Relations, LSE

Professor Christopher Coker, Director, LSE IDEAS  

Professor Michael Cox, Director, LSE IDEAS  

Professor Kent Deng, Professor of Economic History, LSE

Charles Dunst, Associate, LSE IDEAS

Jonathan Fenby, Associate, LSE IDEAS

Carrie Gracie, Senior Journalist, BBC

Patrick Horgan, Director of Government Relations, Rolls Royce

Sir Christopher Hum, Life Fellow, University of Cambridge

Nigel Inkster, Senior Advisor, IISS

Dr Yu Jie, Senior Research Fellow, Chatham House

Guy de Jonquieres, Senior Fellow, European Centre for International Political Economy

Professor Jonathan Liebenau, Professor of Management, LSE

Michael Maclay, LSE IDEAS

George Magnus, Research Associate, Oxford University China Centre

Sir David Manning, Senior Advisor, Chatham House

Dr Alvaro Mendez, Co-Director LSE Global South Unit—Senior Associate Fellow at LSE IDEAS; Adjunct Professor at Fudan University and Sciences Po Paris

Dr Bingchun Meng, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Media and Communications, LSE            

Charles Parton, Senior Associate Fellow, RUSI

Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, Financial Times

Nadia Schadlow, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

Lutfey Siddiqi, Visiting Professor in Practice, LSE IDEAS

Dr Xin Sun, Lecturer in Chinese and East Asian Business, KCL

Anthony Vinci, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security

Dr Leslie Vinjamuri, Director, US and the Americas Programme, Chatham House & Reader in International Relations, SOAS

Geoffrey Yu, Associate at LSE IDEAS and Senior Market Strategist at Bank of New York Mellon

Understand China today, be prepared for tomorrow

Public and private sectors are increasingly challenged to understand China’s rise as a multidimensional economic, financial, normative and military actor. Responding to this challenge, China Foresight offers the opportunity to train interested representatives from private and public sectors in understanding the strategic implications of China’s rise for business and policy decisions. By drawing on our resident China expertise, we can offer a tailored and customisable experience to equip you with the necessary tools to derive innovative, far-sighted and actionable solutions to business and policy issues affected by China’s growing influence.

For inquiries, please contact Lukas Fiala, China Foresight Project Coordinator,

Project Output

China Dialogues

The Forum produces regular opinion pieces on our LSE Blogs.

Click here to visit the China Dialogues blog.

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China’s Economic and Military Lessons From Russia’s War in Ukraine
July 2022 | Lukas Fiala

Lukas Fiala writes that Chinese leaders and strategists are likely in the process of learning important lessons from Russia’s war in Ukraine, including China’s own strategic vulnerabilities in a potential future invasion of Taiwan.

Click here to read the blog post.

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CPEC: Project of Geo-economics or Geo-politics?
July 2022 | Seema Khan

Seema Khan argues that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has provided an impetus for strategic competition between the USA, China and India in the region.

Click here to read the blog post

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China’s Approaches to Conflict Management
July 2022 | Bernardo Mariani 

Bernardo Mariani argues that China’s economic development, connectivity and trade needs drive its engagement in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Click here to read the blog post


Between Two Worlds: The Paradox and Promise of China’s Climate Diplomacy
June 2022 | Lucie Qian Xia

Lucie Qian Xia argues that China’s climate diplomacy must straddle a dual identity of both a developing country and a great power.

Click here to read the blog post


The limits of China’s pro-Russia apathy 
June 2022 | Hugo Jones, Lukas Fiala

Hugo Jones and Lukas Fiala discuss the Sino-Russian partnership in the context of Ukraine, arguing that observers should adopt a nuanced understanding of their “no limits” partnership.

Click here to read the blog post


China’s uphill battle fostering stability in the Horn of Africa
June 2022 | Lukas Fiala

Following the first China-Horn of Africa conference on peace, governance and development, Lukas Fiala considers China's changing role as a regional and global security stakeholder.

Click here to read the blog post


Video: Hong Kong 25 years after handover
June 2022 | Eric Lai

25 years since its handover, Eric Lai considers the political and legal changes that have centralised the power of the Chinese government in Hong Kong.

Click here to read the blog post


Ask the Experts: Are Confucius Institutes a threat to the UK’s national security?
June 2022 | Kenneth King, Siyuan Li, Charles Parton

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill seeks to bring greater scrutiny to Chinese funding and influence in UK universities. In this context, Charles Parton, Kenneth King and Siyuan Li consider whether Confucius Institutes are a threat to the UK’s national security.

Click here to read the blog post


Ask the Experts: Why is China increasing its security footprint in the Pacific Islands?
June 2020 | Asha Sundaramurthy, Lei Yu, Lukas Fiala

Following a recent security pact with the Solomon Islands and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s ten-day tour of the Pacific Islands, Asha Sundaramurthy, Lei Yu and Lukas Fiala consider why China is attempting to increase its security footprint in the region.

Click here to read the blog post

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How Public Opinion Shapes China’s Foreign Policy
May 2022 | Xiaojun Li

Xiaojun Li argues that Chinese people have diverse views and opinions on a wide range of foreign policy issues that do not necessarily align with official policy and state propaganda.

Click here to read the blog post


National Security Bill: New counter-interference legislation shows UK has more to learn from Australia and Taiwan
May 2022 | Mariah Thornton

In the Queen’s speech last week, the government announced a host of new legislation aimed at curbing China’s influence in the UK.

Click here to read the blog post


Shanghai’s lockdown struggles illustrate that politics trumps economics in today’s China
April 2022 | Pippa Morgan

As Shanghai's lockdown struggles continue, Pippa Morgan writes that in today's China, politics comes first, and strict control of COVID-19 has become an important pillar of the Communist Party’s performance-based legitimacy.

Click here to read the blog post

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China’s “cake” in Central Asia | Sinostan: China’s Inadvertent Empire by Raffaello Pantucci and Alexandros Petersen
April 2022 | Hugo Jones

China's expanding role in Central Asia is examined closely through personal accounts and travel stories in Sinostan: China's Inadvertent Empire, by Raffaello Pantucci and Alexandros Petersen.

Click here to read the blog post.

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The Muddled Case Against Xi Jinping’s Third Term
March 2022 | Ling Li

Many expect Xi Jinping to break the Chinese Communist Party’s “succession norms” by taking a third term as PRC Chairman later this year. But Ling Li argues that, as head of the Party, Xi’s third term has never been hampered by the PRC’s constitution.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Ask the Experts: How does China’s dynamic zero-COVID policy impact the global economy?
March 2022 | Alicia García Herrero, Guy de Jonquieres, Ka Zeng, Shirley Ze Yu

Alicia García Herrero, Guy de Jonquières, Ka Zeng and Shirley Ze Yu consider how China's dynamic zero-COVID policy is impacting the global economy.

Click here to read the blog post.

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The prospects of a Russo-Chinese alliance and Taiwan
March 2022 | Alexandros Zachariades

Alexandros Zachariades considers the prospects for a Russo-Chinese alliance based on a balance-of-power logic, and the implications this would have for Taiwan.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Putin's War - China's Choices
March 2022 | Michael Cox

Michael Cox argues that China faces several choices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but that a rupture in the China-Russia friendship is still unlikely.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Geoeconomic Warfare in the 21st Century? ‘Financial Cold War: A View of Sino-US Relations from the Financial Markets’ by James A. Fok
March 2022 | Lukas Fiala

Lukas Fiala reviews James A. Fok’s ‘Financial Cold War – A View of Sino-US Relations from the Financial Markets’.

Click here to read the blog post.

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A Cold Wind Blows from the East: What could Russia’s invasion of Ukraine mean for Taiwan?
February 2022 | Mariah Thornton

Mariah Thornton comments on interpreting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an omen for Taiwan.

Click here to read the blog post.

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China's Weakening Expectations
February 2022 | George Magnus

It’s been one year since George Magnus wrote about China’s “bittersweet recovery from COVID-19” for China Dialogues. In his latest piece, he considers “weakening expectations” for China’s economic development, arising from Omicron, property markets, population ageing, and poor productivity.

Click here to read the blog post.

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From Ukraine to a New World Order? China, Russia, Sun Tzu and The Art of War
February 2022 | Michael Cox

Following the release of a joint statement by China and Russia, Michael Cox considers implications for the escalating crisis at Ukraine’s borders.

Click here to read the blog post.

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“Axis of Inconvenience”: China, Russia and the Crisis in Ukraine
February 2022 | Michael Cox

As tensions rise over the fate of Ukraine, Michael Cox argues that the China-Russia relationship is as strong as ever. He argues that China may seek to benefit from the crisis, drawing connections between events in Ukraine and China’s own ‘near abroad’.

Click here to read the blog post.

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An emerging “all-lose” scenario – China, the Western Balkans and the EU
February 2022 | Dragan Pavlićević

Dragan Pavlićević argues that China-Western Balkan (WB) relations are being shaped by a triangular perception gap, threatening to result in an “all-lose” scenario for all involved parties.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Ask the Experts: Does China’s dispute with Lithuania signify a shift in its broader relationship with Europe?
January 2022 | Viking Bohman, Justyna Szczudlik, Mariah Thornton and Grzegorz Stec

Following its decision to host a “Taiwanese Representative Office”, Lithuania’s relationship with China swiftly deteriorated. Justyna Szczudlik, Viking Bohman, Mariah Thornton and Grzegorz Stec consider the broader implications for Europe’s relationship with China. 

Click here to read the blog post.

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Christine Lee and Foreign Interference: what the UK can learn from Taiwan
January 2022 | Mariah Thornton

Mariah Thornton considers the lessons from Taiwan for democracies facing interference from China.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Telling China’s Story Well or Speaking in Tongues? Narrative Communication Challenges in China’s Public Diplomacy
January 2022 | Hugo Jones

Despite investing heavily in public diplomacy, China still struggles to present a compelling “China story” to foreign publics. Hugo Jones argues that a number of practical challenges lie in the way of China’s external communication, and that the “China story” does not necessarily have to be a poor one.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Are EU relations with China taking a geopolitical turn?
December 2021 | Anna Michalski

China and the Indo-Pacific region now beckon the attention of the EU for both economic and strategic reasons. Anna Michalski considers what role the EU will pursue in the region based on strategic autonomy within the confines of the US-China rivalry.

Click here to read the blog post.

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'Partnership of Equals'? Understanding the future of China-Africa relations in the context of FOCAC
November 2021 | Lukas Fiala

The 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation takes place in Senegal over 29th and 30th November. Read the summary of our latest report ‘FOCAC at 21: Future Trajectories of China-Africa Relations’.

Click here to read the blog post.

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In the Russian Arctic, China treads on thinning ice
November 2021 | Lukas Wahden

China has increased its influence in the Arctic mostly thanks to the support of Russia. But Lukas Wahden argues that, in the future, China will need to loosen its dependence on Russian support and diversify its links with other Arctic states to maintain its position as a regional stakeholder.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Why China needs to rebalance its economy – and why it won’t
November 2021 | Stephen Paduano

Xi Jinping has recently put forward the idea of ‘Common Prosperity’ in an attempt to address China’s economic instability and income inequality. But Stephen Paduano argues that a much greater redistribution of resources is needed to rebalance China’s economy.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Ask the Experts: Can China become a global green leader?
November 2021 | Cecilia Han Springer, Nicholas Stern, Chunping Xie and Erik Solheim

As world leaders gather for COP26 in Glasgow, China Foresight asks Dr Cecilia Han Springer, Erik Solheim, Lord Nicholas Stern and Dr Chunping Xie whether China can adopt a role of global leadership in the race to combat climate change.

Click here to read the blog post.

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‘Everywhere and Nowhere to be Seen’: How China’s role in the GERD dispute challenges Beijing’s non-interference principle
October 2021 | Lisa Klaassen

While China has played a key role in the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Lisa Klaassen argues that the intrastate dispute over what will be Africa’s largest hydropower plant is increasingly placing strains on Beijing’s principle of non-interference.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Revolution and Counterrevolution in China
October 2021 | Lin Chun

With the release of her new book, Revolution and Counterrevolution in China, Professor Lin Chun argues that the paradoxes of contemporary Chinese society are the product of the contradictions of its long revolutionary history, as well as the social and political consequences of its post-socialist transition.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Techno-nationalism: China’s bid for global technological leadership
September 2021 | Efekan Bilgin and Alphonse Loh

In this China Dialogues blog, Efekan Bilgin and Alphonse Loh discuss China’s quest for technological self-sufficiency in an age of ‘techno-nationalism’. 

Click here to read the blog post.

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Ask the Experts: Is China winning the Electric Vehicle race?
September 2021 | Barbara Finamore, Ferdinand Dudenhöffer and Ilaria Mazzocco

As both Europe and the US look to accelerate their electric vehicle transitions, Barbara Finamore, Ferdinand Dudenhöffer and Ilaria Mazzocco discuss whether China will maintain its head start in electric vehicle production, sales and supply chains.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Japan, China and Russia: Appraising the risk of a war on two fronts
September 2021 | Duncan Bartlett

Despite having similar territorial disputes with both countries, Japan’s relationship with China is far thornier than its relationship with Russia. Duncan Bartlett examines the web of relations between Japan, China and Russia, and the security implications of various partnerships going forwards. 

Click here to read the blog post.

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Still Trailblazing? The Chile-China relationship at fifty
August 2021 | Jorge Heine

Chile has played a trailblazing role in Sino-Latin American links, most recently sourcing the vast majority of its COVID-19 vaccines from China. In this blog Jorge Heine, former Chilean ambassador to China, considers the future of the China-Chile relationship amidst rising US-China tensions.

Click here to read the blog post.

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The British ‘tilt’ to the Indo-Pacific and its ramifications for the South China Sea
July 2021 | Max Dixon

Following a recent integrated review, the UK is reorienting its national security objectives towards the Indo-Pacific region. As the UK Carrier Strike Group arrives in the South China Sea, Max Dixon analyses China’s likely response and the implications this may have for Sino-British relations.

Click here to read the blog post.

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China and the Antipodes: PRC policy toward Australia and New Zealand
July 2021 | Jason Young

In recent years, Australia’s relationship with China has sharply declined, and although reluctant to take sides New Zealand too is quietly recalibrating its stance towards China. Dr Jason Young explains the interests driving China’s changing policy towards the region and the challenges that lie ahead.

Click here to read the blog post.

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Ask the Experts: Will an aging population limit China’s global power aspirations?
July 2021 | Lauren Johnston, Kent Deng and Stuart Gietel-Basten

China’s recent census results have brought renewed concerns about its rapidly aging population to the fore. Dr Lauren Johnston, Professor Kent Deng and Professor Stuart Gietel-Basten discuss the direction of China’s population policy and the implications this may have for China’s global power projection. 

Read the blog post by clicking here.

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Before the phoenix nest: Questions surrounding the port city of Colombo
July 2021 | Asanga Abeyagoonasekera

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera assesses the implications of Colombo Port City, a Chinese-financed Special Economic Zone currently under construction in Sri Lanka.

Click here to read the blog post.

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The Belt and Road Initiative in times of global uncertainty: A trade policy perspective
June 2021 | Karen Jackson and Oleksandr Shepotylo

Based on their empirical findings, Karen Jackson and Oleksandr Shepotylo discuss the trade and welfare effects of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the EU, the prospect of an EU-China free trade agreement and the future of trade policy in uncertain times.

Click here to read it.

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Entente of the Autocrats: Examining the Domestic Drivers of China-Russia Alignment | Part 2: The Centrality of Regime Security
June 2021 | Björn Alexander Düben

In response to Professor Michael Cox’s commentary on the Sino-Russian partnership, Dr Björn Alexander Düben argues that the shared interests of China and Russia’s ruling elites can help to explain the two countries’ growing alignment, in part two of a two-part article.

Click here to read Part 2.

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Entente of the Autocrats: Examining the Domestic Drivers of China-Russia Alignment | Part 1: More than a Few Roadblocks
June 2021 | Björn Alexander Düben

In response to Professor Michael Cox’s commentary on China and Russia’s increasingly close relationship, Dr Björn Alexander Düben explains the enduring problems which afflict the partnership as the bilateral power disparity grows, in part one of a two-part article.

Click here to read Part 1.

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Ask the Experts: Has Democracy in Hong Kong come to an end?
May 2021 | Eric Lai, Jeremy Huai-Che Chiang and Henry Litton

In the wake of far-reaching electoral reforms, Eric Lai, Jeremy Huai-Che Chiang and Henry Litton comment on the state of democracy in Hong Kong today.

Click here to read it.

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Chinese digital tech in Africa: moral panics and the messy reality of surveillance
May 2021 | Iginio Gagliardone 

Contrary to suggestions that China’s growing role in developing Africa’s digital infrastructure is part of a new ‘digital cold war’, Dr Iginio Gagliardone argues that greater attention needs to be paid to how Chinese digital tech interacts with the complex techno-political realities in different African nations.

Click here to read it.

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Harmony of the Heavens: Augur of a new space era?
May 2021 | Marco Aliberti

Against the backdrop of China’s recently launched Tianhe space station module, Marco Aliberti explains the evolution of China’s space programme and Beijing’s intentions in outer space, and cautions against overly simplistic renderings of competition between the US and China.

Click here to read it.

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Comrades Putin and Xi
April 2021 | Michael Cox

Professor Michael Cox reviews how Western policy and academic circles have largely been reluctant to recognise the gradually consolidating partnership between Russia and China, and calls for renewed intellectual engagement to derive effective policy responses to this emerging coalition.

Click here to read it.

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China’s Public Diplomacy in Ghana: the role of ‘goodwill’ in mitigating China’s ‘failed health diplomacy’
March 2021 | Nathaniel Ocquaye

While China’s public diplomacy in Africa experienced a set-back during the on-set of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems to have turned the corner. Focusing on Ghana, Nathaniel Ocquaye explains how Beijing’s recent health diplomacy has successfully built on a “reservoir of good will” based on China’s long-term engagement in Africa.

Click here to read it.

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Rare earths, the climate crisis, and tech-imperium
March 2021 | Sophia Kalantzakos

In the context of recent calls to restructure global supply chains to reduce technological dependencies, Professor Sophia Kalantzakos explains why China’s dominance in critical minerals markets has come to the attention of policymakers in Europe and the US, and provides timely advice for sustainable, long-term policy responses.

Click here to read it.

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Ask the Experts: Has China successfully employed 'health diplomacy' to promote its leadership role as a purveyor of global public goods?
March 2021 | Maddalena Procopio, Hannah Bretherton, Chris Alden

Our experts explore to what extent China’s health diplomacy has promoted its leadership role, particularly in the promotion of public goods. As global squabbles of vaccine nationalism and passports intensify, exploring China’s role is both interesting and important.

Click here to read it.

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CCP centenary and the growing Chinese footprint in Sri Lanka
March 2021 | Asanga Abeyagoonasekera

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera explores the implications of the upcoming CCP centenary, BRI infrastructure investment, and strategic balancing, with lessons of middle power diplomacy drawn from the case of Sri Lanka.

Click here to read it.

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Myanmar’s Coup: A blow to democracy, a headache for China
February 2021 | Charles Dunst

Myanmar was rocked by a coup on 1 February. Charles Dunst lays out China’s interests in Myanmar, its relations with the Tatmadaw and NLD, and its likely future actions given the recent coup.

Click here to read it.

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Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Made China's Military More Assertive and Capable?
February 2021 | Lukas Fiala

Ahead of the ratification of China’s 14th five-year-plan, Lukas Fiala provides an important check to media sensationalism around China’s military modernisation, and offers a long-term view of China’s security development and appropriate Western responses.

Click here to read it.

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China’s Bittersweet Recovery From COVID-19
January 2021 | George Magnus

One year after Wuhan entered a city-wide lockdown, George Magnus takes stock of predictions made at the time and assesses how China’s economy has fared. Predictions of a “Chernobyl Moment” have proven incorrect, yet the need for deep economic reform remains evident.

Click here to read it.

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Sri Lanka and the new Cold War in the Indo-Pacific theatre
January 2021 | Asanga Abeyagoonasekera

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera explores the emergent security and strategic landscape of the Indo-Pacific amidst great power competition.

Click here to read it.

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Sri Lanka, China and the coming Biden Foreign Policy
December 2020 | Asanga Abeyagoonasekera

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera explores the implications for Sri Lanka of US-China competition under a Biden presidency, with broad lessons for other nations caught between the struggling great powers.

Click here to read it.

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State-Business Relations Under Xi: what has (and hasn't) changed and what are the implications?
November 2020 | Xin Sun and Jiawei Hai

China’s state has seemingly tightened its grip on private enterprise, with Ant’s cancelled IPO being the most high-profile example. But how new are these developments really? And what are the implications for China’s long-term innovation potential? Dr Xin Sun and Jiawei Hai address these questions.

Click here to read it.

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Ask the Experts: How will the election change the US' stance towards China? What are the implications for the UK?
November 2020 | David Manning, Matthew Kroenig, Gidon Gautel and Michael Cox

Four experts from the China Foresight Forum contribute to this monthly question blog, exploring how the US stance may change to China as a result of the election of Joe Biden, and what that means for the UK.

Click here to read it.

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Has the pandemic emboldened or weakened China in the global system?
November 2020 | George Magnus

George Magnus interrogates Chinese economic data and indicators to determine whether China can bounce back as a global economic player in the international system after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to read it.

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The ineluctable urge of network control
October 2020 | Bingchun Meng

Bingchun Meng looks at the history of the British communications hegemony and the US challenge to this. This history reflects the contemporary communications politics between China and the US and how Huawei competes against western telecommunication firms.

Click here to read it.

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Ask the Experts: Is a renewed EU-China partnership in global affairs possible?
October 2020 | Guy de Jonquieres, Yu Jie and Charles Dunst

Guy de Jonquieres, Charles Dunst and Yu Jie consider whether a renewed EU-China partnership in global affairs is possible, for China Dialogues' monthly Ask the Experts series.

Click here to read it.

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Russia's Neutrality and Pragmatism Amid the US-China Rivalry
October 2020 | Frank Ka-Ho Wong

With Washington's attempts to contain both China and Russia, many scholars have alluded to the growing prospects of a deepened Russia-China alliance. However, as Frank Ka-Ho Wong argues, Russia sees itself as a cautious mediator, looking to quietly build cooperation with China in specific sectors.

Click here to read it.

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Will digital diplomacy cement the Belt and Road Initiative’s “common destiny”?
September 2020 | George Magnus and Hannah Bretherton

The coronavirus pandemic has seen investment activity in the BRI, Xi Jinping’s signature policy, continue its downwards trend. How does this factor into the parallel trend of increased digitalisation of the project, and will the BRI still be able to fulfil its purpose of a “common destiny for mankind”? George Magnus and Hannah Bretherton explore these questions.

Click here to read it.

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How Chinese digital economy companies became innovators
September 2020 | Jonathan Liebenau

What makes Chinese digital innovators so successful? This is a crucial question for both policymakers and firms looking to respond to increased economic competition from China. Jonathan Liebenau explores the answers in a growing field of management literature.

Click here to read it.

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The Failures of the "China Fantasy"
August 2020 | Charles Dunst

Charles Dunst writes about how China’s success has undermined liberalism’s allure by teaching the world that liberal trade does not require political liberalism.

Click here to read it.

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In the Foothills of a New Cold War
August 2020 | Alan Dupont

China's wolf-warrior diplomacy reflects a fresh, open rivalry and strategic competition between Beijing and Washington.

Click here to read it.

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Behind Huawei: The Battle for Communication Networks
July 2020 | Jonathan Liebenau and Bingchun Meng

Liebenau and Meng's introductory piece, the first of four contributions, sets the scene for the Huawei controversy.

Click here to read it.


Events and Podcasts

China and the Arctic: Great Power competition, security and regional responses
Thursday 21 October 2021

This webinar covered China’s security and diplomatic engagement in the Arctic, and exploring commensurate regional responses.

China's Environmental Foreign Relations
Thursday 30 September 2021

Ahead of COP26 in November, LSE IDEAS' China Foresight Project, the Grantham Research Institute at LSE, and LSE's Department of International Relations co-host a panel discussing the evolution of China’s own understanding of the environment, the role of domestic stakeholders in shaping Chinese environmental diplomacy and Beijing’s role in the upcoming COP26.

17+1: China's Foreign Policy in Central Europe
Friday 28 May 2021

Once the beacon of Chinese influence in Central and Eastern Europe, the 17+1 project has largely proved ineffective. How will Chinese diplomacy fare in a post-Covid world where transatlantic cooperation seems to be re-emerging?

China and the Arctic: Critical Minerals, Environmental Politics and Climate Change
Thursday 13 May 2021

The first LSE IDEAS-UiT panel of China and the Arctic focuses on Beijing’s climate policy vis-à-vis the region, critical resource mining and great power responsibility.

Empire and Righteous Nation: Past, present and future of China-Korea relations
16 March 2021

This panel seeks to untangle the history of Korea’s relationship with China and, given that Sino-Korean relations will be of crucial importance in the future, build on this knowledge to recognize new opportunities, or avoid false paths, over the years to come.

2021: A Pivotal Year for China's Financial System?
9 March 2021

2021 may mark a turning point in the global standing of China’s financial system. From the digital yuan, to financial services liberalisation and US treasuries purchases, this panel seeks to explore key trends and place these in an increasingly fraught geopolitical context.

US-China Great Power Competition: a new cold war?
28 October 2020

The nature of great power competition in the 21st century will shape the world. Are we in a new cold war between the US and China? 

China in One Country? Autarky, decoupling, and its implications
11 June 2020

Facing international upheaval due to COVID-19, and an increasingly hostile West, some speculate that China may experience a semi-Stalinist turn inward, and widespread technological and economic decoupling from the rest of the world. What is the truth behind these speculations, what is the internal debate within China, and what might this mean for China and indeed for the international community?

China in One Country? Autarky, decoupling, and its implications
June 2020

Facing international upheaval due to COVID-19, and an increasingly hostile West, some speculate that China may experience a semi-Stalinist turn inward, and widespread technological and economic decoupling from the rest of the world. What is the truth behind these speculations, what is the internal debate within China, and what might this mean for China and indeed for the international community?

Made in China 2025: avoiding the middle-income development trap
March 2020

This panel discusses the challenges that China faces in avoiding the ‘middle-income trap’ of development and how this aims to be avoided through the ‘Made in China 2025’ industrial strategy.

Reassessing China's Economy in Uncertain Times
December 2019

This panel reassesses the Chinese economy and consider the effects of a slowing Chinese economy.

Redefining cross-strait relations: Taiwan elections 2020
November 2019

With the Taiwan elections approaching in January 2020, there grows a stirring, yet precarious, potential of a redefining shift in the nation’s foreign policy.

China's Peaceful Rise and the Thucydides Trap
January 2019

China first proposed a “peaceful rise” as early as by the end of 2003. As China emerged as a major economic and political power, however, there has been increasing concern regarding the role it plays in international trade and affairs over the last decade. In particular, a pivotal question about the world order in the present day is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides Trap.

Clash of the Titans? China-US Relations from Nixon to Trump
December 2016

When Nixon opened a door to China in 1972  the world was turned upside down for ever. But what is the state of the US-China relationship nearly fifty years on? Margaret Macmillan and Christopher Coker discuss the past, present, and future of arguably the most significant relationship of the modern era.

The Decline of the West in the New Asian Century?
October 2016

Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman and experts from LSE IDEAS discussed his new book Easternisation, debating how far Asia's growing wealth will move the international balance of power away from the West, Chinese nationalism, and the US-China competition for allies in Asia.

UK-China: Stocks, Shakespeare, and Satellites
March 2016

British Ambassador to China Barbara Woodward on the 'Golden Era' of UK-China relations, the importance of public diplomacy, and building a strategic partnership.

Private Events

ICBCS and LSE IDEAS Belt and Road Initiative roundtable series - Which Emerging Markets will gain?

ICBC Standard Bank and LSE IDEAS are co-hosting a series of private discussions, bringing together leading experts from academic, policymaking and business communities to fully explore the global economic and financial impact of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The second explored the opportunities for emerging economies.

ICBCS and LSE IDEAS Belt and Road Initiative Roundtable series - Can BRI bring China and Russia together?

ICBC Standard Bank and LSE IDEAS are co-hosting a series of private discussions, bringing together leading experts from academic, policymaking and business communities to fully explore the global economic and financial impact of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The first focused on how the BRI programme will impact China's relations with Russia.

The New Silk Routes: How is infrastructure reconnecting Asia? 
LSE IDEAS-LSE Department for International Relations event

China’s recent revival of the historic ‘Silk Road’ has captured the imaginations of both policymakers and business leaders. At this event, representatives from the Reconnecting Asia project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC explained their ambitious initiative to map infrastructure projects across Eurasia.

China, Brexit, & the EU: Challenges, Uncertainties, & Opportunities?

This China Foresight-Dahrendorf Forum workshop explored strategic aspects of China-EU relations and how the Brexit debate will impact the newly revived bilateral relationship between Beijing and London. Included speakers from the Italian Foreign Ministry and the French Embassy.

Strategic Updates & Research Reports

Education, Training and Capacity Building in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) 2021: Multilateral and Bilateral Ambitions Twenty Years On
April 2022

The latest Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) took place in Dakar, Senegal in November 2021. Among the huge range of pledges and agreements, one of the most extensive was capacity building through scholarships, targeted training and people-to-people exchanges. In this Occasional Paper, Kenneth King analyses China’s pledges not just in the sphere of formal education, but across the many different sectors of China’s collaboration with Africa for the next three years.

FOCAC at 21: Future Trajectories of China-Africa Relations
October 2021

The China-Africa relationship has continued to evolve over the last years. In light of the 8th Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will take place later in 2021, this report brings together an international team of experts to shed light on emerging and consolidated areas of engagement between China and Africa that will likely shape the relationship in the years to come.

The Dragon Lands in Belgrade: The Drivers of Sino-Serbian Partnership
July 2021

From ‘vaccine diplomacy’ to ‘debt-trap diplomacy’, this Strategic Update by Vuk Vuksanovic examines the Sino-Serbian partnership we are witnessing and what the future has in store for Serbian policymakers.

Twitter and Digital Diplomacy: China and COVID-19
June 2021

This Strategic Update explores how official Chinese foreign policy entities have used Twitter as a public diplomacy platform during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nature of their Twitter activity, and what this means for Chinese Twitter Diplomacy in the future.

Coordination Failure: Risks of US-China competition in space
April 2021

Gidon Gautel seeks to outline and call attention to two high-risk flash points arising from the development of the US & China’s national space programmes and industries.

Protect, Constrain, Contest: Approaches for coordinated transatlantic economic and technological competition with China
January 2021

The Biden Presidency offers opportunities for a renewed effort at formulating a coordinated allied approach to technological and economic competition with China. This report provides a guiding framework for transatlantic coordination, and offers insights into key elements of future cooperation. While challenges abound, the opportunities for action prove just as great in number.

China in One Country: interdependence or globalisation 'with Chinese characteristics'?
July 2020

In this Strategic Update, George Magnus investigates what is meant when China’s leadership speaks of globalisation, and what the implications of the answer are for the rest of the world.

Wings Along the BRI: Exporting Chinese UCAVs and Security?
May 2020

China’s pursuit of military innovation has met a more active diplomacy along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Filling the void left by traditional suppliers, Chinese Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) have proliferated along the BRI and are starting to affect Middle Eastern and African security landscapes. This Strategic Update explains the drivers and implications of these developments in the context of China’s modernising defence industrial base and more active role in security cooperation in the Global South.

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Southeast Asia
October 2018

In Southeast Asia, views of the Belt and Road Initiative range from admiration, to fear and suspicion. LSE IDEAS’s latest joint report with CARI points a path for leaders, revealing the impact, pitfalls, and opportunities for the region.

The Chinese Communist Party Congress: An Essential Guide
September 2017

This Strategic Update is the essential guide to the Chinese Communist Party Congress, one of the world's most secretive and exclusive political meetings. Ahead of the 19th Party Congress in October 2017, the update also explores what will indicate if Xi Jinping plans to centralise his power in the party or maintain collective leadership.

China's One Belt, One Road: A Reality Check
July 2017

The world is excited, yet confused about the potential of China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. What exactly is it? This Strategic Update explains the origins of the idea, who in Beijing really runs OBOR, and the existential challenges to the project.

From Deng to Xi: Economic Reform, the Silk Road, and the Return of the Middle Kingdom
May 2017

This report explores the extent to which Deng's momentous economic reforms in 1978 have shaped modern China, what the country's expanded international role under Xi means, and who really makes Chinese foreign policy.

China's Geoeconomic Strategy
June 2012
This report assesses the economic bases of China’s foreign policy and the challenges the country faces as it makes the transition from rising power to superpower.

The China-Global South Weekly Ideas Newsletter

China Foresight is affiliated with the China-Africa Project and regularly provides opinion pieces and input for the weekly China-Global South newsletter. Click here to subscribe to the newsletter.

Engaging with Senior Policymakers

In the UK, the project has briefed staff at 10 Downing Street and given evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select committee on UK-China relations. In Europe, the project participated in the European External Action Service policy planning briefing on China and Russia, briefing 27 EU members on Chinese foreign policy. Dr Yu Jie also spoke at a 'track two diplomacy' meeting of the G7 in Rome during the Italian Presidency in 2017.

China Foresight has met with members of the Monetary Committee of the People's Bank of China and hosted the UK ambassador to China. LSE IDEAS was one of only four UK think tanks invited to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on his visit to London. LSE IDEAS was also the only UK think tank to take part in a direct dialogue with Vice Minister Guo Yezhou of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party.



23 January: China's Vast Blueprint for Tech Supremacy over U.S.

14 January: Beijing’s “Wait and See” Approach in Kazakhstan


8 December: ‘More cautious’ China shifts Africa approach from debt to vaccine diplomacy

29 November: What did FOCAC 2021 deliver for Africa?

26 November: Why Ethiopia’s Fate Matters to China

24 November: Where Is the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Headed Next?

24 November: China’s Quest for Greater Discourse Power

19 November: FOCAC 8 Preview: The Economic Agenda

17 November: COP26: China, the global south, and climate politics

12 November: After COP26: China, the Global South and the Messy Reality of Climate Politics

6 November: Is time up for China's non-interference take on overseas coups?

5 November: FOCAC: African nations push China for better trade deals in lead-up to Senegal summit

29 October: Sudan and China’s Evolving Non-Interference Policy in the Global South

25 October: China-Africa relationship at its strongest, says new report

21 October: Leading China-Africa Experts Preview the Key Themes That Will Likely Dominate This Year's FOCAC Summit

15 October: Will China Go Green After Going Out?

10 October: Is China Really Playing the Long Game?

4 October: Bhutan's 'Disciplined Diplomacy' Between Two Giants

17 September: China's Vaccine Diplomacy: Soft Power Lessons from Latin America

3 September: China's Improbable Resource Bonanza in Afghanistan

23 August: China isn't interested in a power grab in Afghanistan

6 August: China's Evolving Military Diplomacy in the Global South

5 August: Cutting CGN 'against UK interests'

30 July: Stop the Blame Game: The Complex Picture of China and Coal Finance

16 July: Why Does China Want to Cooperate With Europe in Africa?

14 July: On the move: the rise of China’s global defence industry

6 July: China and the US race to dominate the ultimate strategic high ground: space

12 May: Quo Vadis? The 17+1 and China’s Inroads into Central and Eastern Europe

8 May: China’s ambitions in space: national pride or taking on the Americans?


28 May: How will COVID-19 impact US-China trade relations?

15 May: Geopolitical Bickering Threatens to Spill Over into Satellite Broadband Mega-constellations

1 May: COVID-19 and China’s Foreign Policy


25 August: spoke to BBC World Service Radio Weekend programme on China and Taiwan's  African diplomacy.

23 August: spoke on BBC World Service Radio's 'The World Update' on the latest round of US-China tariffs.

20 August: appeared on BBC World TV 'Talking Business' on Global Trade tensions.

7 August:  writes for the Financial Times on the ironies and mismatches of China's Belt & Road.

16 July: interviewed by BBC News Channel and BBC World Service on the EU-China summit. 

13 July: quoted in Financial Times column on US-China trade dispute. 

11 July: Yu Jie interviwed by BBC on US-China tarrifs.

10 July: quoted in South China Morning Post on Jeremy Hunt's appointment as Foreign Secretary. 

9 July: quoted in Financial Times story on how China’s Belt and Road difficulties are proliferating across the world. 

5 July: writes for the South China Morning Post on How Trump can bring China and the European Union closer, if they can be pragmatic about their wish lists.

19 June: appeared on BBC World Service speaking on US-China trade disputes and the impact on global financial markets. 

13 June: appeared on CNBC to discuss how China views the outcome of the US-North Korea summit in Singapore.

18 May: appeared on BBC World News to talk about a thaw in US-China relations. 

15 May: appeared on BBC World News Breakfast Breifing to talk about ZTE and US-China trade relations. 

3 May: appeared on Sky News to discuss the likely outcomes of negotiation between Washington and Beijing when the US Treasury Secretary visits Beijing.

4 April: quoted in Financial Times front page story on Chinese investment in the UK.

2 April: appeared on BBC World to discuss the growing China-US trade war.

22 March: appeared on BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight and BBC World Service Newshour to discuss trade tensions between the US and China.

20 March: spoke on BBC NEWS Business Briefing to review the two-weeks long China’s National Parliamentary Congress.

15 March: Xi will be judged on the results of planned reforms - article for the Financial Times beyond brics

11 March: quoted in the Financial Times by James Kynge on Africa eats up lion’s share of Chinese lending

5 March: quoted in the South China Morning Post article Tech entrepreneurs replace real estate tycoons as political advisers in China’s push for IT edge

26 Feburary: reacted to the proposed abolition of the two-term limit for the Chinese Presidency, discussing 'Xi Jinping thought' with Carrie Grace on BBC News and the impact of the news on the Chinese economy on BBC World Service Business Report.

1 Feburary: appeared on BBC Radio 4's The Briefing Room to discuss to discuss Britain, China, & the One Belt, One Road initiative with the FT's James Kynge and host David Aaronovitch. 

27 January: quoted on the front page of the Financial Times, commenting on the diplomatic row between the UK & China on the Belt & Road Initiative.

22 January: Can the UK do a post Brexit trade deal with China? Yu Jie looked at the 3 things China would want for the South China Morning Post

19 January: featured in the UBS Knowledge Network, speaking on China's Global Relations.


Professor Chris Alden is Director of China Foresight. He is Director of LSE IDEAS and Professor of International Relations at LSE.

Professor Michael Cox is Senior Academic Adviser to the China Foresight Forum. He directed and taught on the LSE-PKU Summer School for several years. He has published widely on China’s relationship with the West and has been a central figure in the discussion as to whether China’s rise poses a serious threat or a major opportunity for the West.

Lukas Fiala is Project Coordinator for China Foresight.

Hugo Jones is Project Assistant for China Foresight.


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