Protecting China's Interests Overseas: Securitization and Foreign Policy - Virtual Event

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 8:30-10:00 PM Eastern Time


This virtual event is open to the Cornell community. Net ID required.  Once registered, you will receive a Zoom link to attend the webinar. If you have not received it, check your spam folder, or reach out to us at with any concerns. Based on his book Protecting China's Interests Overseas: Securitization and Foreign Policy, Dr. Andrea Ghiselli's talk will revolve around China's approach to protect its interests overseas with the goal of providing new insights into the dynamics of contemporary Chinese foreign policy making, and prompting new considerations regarding how we understand China's rise. Instead of looking at this issue through the lens of great power competition, the key argument is that the securitization of non-traditional security issues played a crucial role in the development of China’s strategy to defend its interests overseas, especially after 2011. The first part of the talk will focus on how Chinese economic and human presence grew so much in unstable regions like the Middle East and North Africa. Dr. Ghiselli will discuss the tensions between the policies aimed at promoting Chinese businesses abroad and the government’s attempts to make Chinese companies responsible for the success and safety of their projects overseas. The second part of the talk will take into consideration how the civilian and military elites’ approach to the protection of Chinese nationals and assets overseas evolved over time. In particular, the focus of the analysis will be on the institutional developments and policy initiatives that were launched as a new consensus emerged clearly in the aftermath of the evacuation of 36,000 Chinese citizens from Libya in 2011. The third and final part of the talk will revolve around how we should understand China’s expanding security footprint abroad and its potential evolution in the future. Speaker:Andrea Ghiselli, is an Assistant Professor in the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University. He is also the Head of Research of the ChinaMed Project, a research project on China's role in the wider Mediterranean region sponsored by the University of Torino's TOChina Hub. Andrea’s research interests include Chinese foreign policy, China-Middle East relations, and foreign policy analysis. His research on Chinese foreign policy has been published in peer-reviewed journals like the China Quarterly, the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Journal of Contemporary China, and Armed Forces & Society. Endorsements:
"Ghiselli has written a terrific and important book. Based on extensive research with primary sources, he demonstrates how China's national interests have expanded beyond East Asia and how the government has endeavored to secure these interests. Protecting China's Interests Overseas offers an important contribution to our understanding of Chinese foreign policy today." -- M. Taylor Fravel, Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director and the Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology "What is driving China's unprecedented military power projection outside of its own neighborhood? Andrea Ghiselli's answer may surprise you. Based upon a meticulous mining of a wide array of primary sources, he offers a fresh perspective on one of the most noteworthy international security trends of the twenty-first century. Highly recommended to anyone interested in discerning the main direction of China's geostrategic trajectory." -- Andrew Scobell, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation  "China has gone global and its security presence in faraway regions has increased. In Protecting China's Interests Overseas, Andrea Ghiselli argues that this expansion has little to do with the Sino-American power competition and is not the result of a well-thought out plan. He takes the reader from the corridors of political power to the leaders of security forces, from the bureaucracies to the general public to show that a haphazard policy process led Chinese leaders to securitize non-traditional security issues — such as piracy, terrorism, and social upheavals. Highly recommended for scholars and security practitioners who seek to understand how China protects its interests globally." -- Pascal Vennesson, Professor of Political Science, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University Singapore


A live Q&A will follow the talk. The audience is encouraged to write their questions into the Chat field for inclusion during this session.


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Andrea Ghiselli