China in Pacific regional politics

Denghua Zhang*, Stephanie Lawson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Foreign aid from China to the island countries of the Pacific has grown rapidly over the last few decades and an expanding body of literature has examined various aspects of what this means for politics in the region generally. This article focuses on China’s impact on Pacific regional politics partly from the perspective of identity politics. It suggests that China has substantially increased its engagement with the Pacific island states by making use of its own identity as a South–South development partner in contrast to traditional (mainly Western) donors in the region. Unlike most traditional donors, however, China’s diplomacy and engagement are based largely on bilateralism, and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. This approach could continue to limit its impact on Pacific regionalism, regardless of how it projects its image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalRound Table
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2017


  • Australia
  • China
  • foreign aid
  • foreign policy
  • identity
  • New Zealand
  • Pacific island countries
  • Pacific regionalism
  • South–South cooperation
  • Taiwan
  • Xi Jinping


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