Engaging with academics and policy makers on China

UNSW Canberra Academics Involved: 
Associate Professor Jian Zhang

A special moment in Associate Professor Jian Zhang’s career came out of left field. As a researcher of Chinese domestic politics and Chinese foreign policy, he has long been accustomed to invitations to speak at academic events, at conferences, at university student events and to media. But when he was contacted by a high school student writing a piece about the South China Sea, he was particularly thrilled to share his knowledge.  

“It surprised me and gave me a new understanding of the significance of my work,” Zhang says. “The student had learnt about my research then contacted me to ask for my assistance. We had several interactions.” 

“For my research the typical audience is two groups. The first is academic and the second is policymakers and think tanks, policy analysts etc. I engage very strongly with both, but typically through different channels.” 

With a focus on China’s rise and the implications for the region, Zhang has looked into China’s military diplomacy and the potential effects of China's overall foreign policy. 

He has become a regular commentator in the media. He has regularly spoken on international affairs on SBS radio’s Mandarin program, has made appearances on CNN and Channel NewsAsia, been interviewed for the Australian Financial Review, Washington Times, Radio Singapore, South China Morning Post and Christian Science Monitor. Zhang has also completed interviews for many other international media publications and programs. 

Zhang is frequently invited to speak at at important national/international forums within and outside Australia, to attend expert roundtable discussions, and to give presentations to high level executive development courses. He has appeared at numerous conferences and has published widely on China’s domestic politics, foreign and security policies and Australia-China relations.