Embedding New Ideas about Chinese Power into UK Government and Finance
China’s growing role in world affairs is often discussed, but rarely understood. Professor Shaun Breslin’s research into Chinese international interactions and domestic political economy dynamics has tried to address this deficit and his findings have challenged major assumptions about the actors involved in China’s international actions. As a result of his research, international governments and businesses now engage with China with greater confidence and understanding.
China's ongoing transformation as a significant global power is impacting the economic fate of individual nations, international investment and trade, and the distribution of power in the global order. Against the backdrop of major international realignments following Brexit and the election of President Trump, there has been considerable demand from governments, the private sector, and the general public for insights that help them to understand the consequences of China’s domestic policies and actions.
As one of the world's foremost researchers on China and the changing global order, Professor Breslin has been ideally placed to help a range of non-academic stakeholders as they formulate policies in relation to China.
By studying a range of key actors inside and outside of China, Professor Breslin came to some important conclusions:
Understanding Chinese actions abroad relies on a sound analysis of the domestic situation in the country itself
Despite Xi Jinping’s power, Beijing does not dictate all of China’s foreign engagements from its centre
Chinese power comes from a range of sources, such as industrial production and financial funding
Many Chinese elite are keen to overturn the norms that define the current rules-based global order
China’s rise is not inevitable. It relies on domestic stability. The nation's unreformed financial sector could undermine the country’s ability to increase its reach abroad
Our research has had a positive impact on how key stakeholders engage with China. Not only have governments and embassies from the UK and Europe sought our insights on the consequences of China’s rise, but there has been interest from within China too on the impact of Brexit in UK-China relations. The commercial and financial sectors have also felt the benefits of this ongoing research, including pension funds, manufacturers and investors across Europe, North America and Asia.
In particular, his ideas have assisted various UK commercial organisations to become more resilient to, and prepared for, the challenges associated with operating with China.