China and the Emerging Regional Order in the South Pacific

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


As China rises, it has become increasingly aggressive in applying its soft power in the Pacific. What does China’s arrival mean for the emerging regional order in the Pacific? What is it up to in the strategic backwater of the Pacific, which has traditionally been regarded as an ‘American lake’ and Australia’s ‘special patch’? Setting my analysis in the broad context of China’s new global diplomacy, I argue that the pattern of China’s assertive behaviour in the Pacific is no different from its approach to other regions in the global South. I further argue that with only limited strategic, diplomatic and economic investment in the Pacific, China has become a regional power by default. The arrival of China, therefore, is unlikely to provoke any new round of great power competition. Rather, it offers opportunities for the world’s second most formidable development challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-381
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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