Virtual workshop: Observing and Measuring Chinese Influence: Managing Risk and Reaction


Date & Time

March 30, 2020


Online workshop via Zoom.


Political activities of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its supporters have led to heightened concern about threats to national security in various parts of the world. Covert and overt overseas attempts to increase its influence are in the Chinese Communist Party’s DNA, and have been intensifying under Xi Jinping. Beijing has been advancing its views with increasing confidence and vigour, and various international economic actors share extensive overlapping interests with the Chinese party-state. While there is growing evidence of attempts of the PRC to influence the internal affairs of other countries, it is typically harder to observe influence effects. How to understand and measure the influence activities of the PRC and what are their domestic political implications? How to design effective policy responses to these well-founded security concerns, while at the same time avoid inflammatory public discourse and a rushed legislature response?


Alastair Iain Johnston is the Professor of China in World Affairs at Harvard University. Iain Johnston’s research and teaching interests include socialization in international institutions, the analysis of identity in the social sciences, and ideational sources of strategic choice, mostly with reference to China and East Asia.

Björn Jerdén is the Head of Asia Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Björn’s research focuses on the international relations of China, Japan and the United States. He has a PhD in political science from Stockholm University and has been a visiting fellow at National Chengchi University, National Taiwan University and Harvard University.

Andrew Chubb is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Lancaster University. A graduate of the University of Western Australia, his work examines the linkages between Chinese domestic politics and international relations. More broadly, Andrew’s interests include maritime and territorial disputes, strategic communication, political propaganda, and Chinese Communist Party history.

Anastas Vangeli is a doctoral researcher at the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) where he recently completed his PhD dissertation titled “Symbolic Power and Principle-Diffusion Through China’s Belt and Road Initiative.” Anastas is also an affiliate of the Cross-Regional Research and Training Program (CONSIRT) at PAN and the Ohio State University, a non-resident researcher at the Turin World Affairs Institute.