In recent years, China has shifted its usual position on global refugee governance and become more active in supporting the U.N. to handle an
In recent years, China has shifted its usual position on global refugee governance and become more active in supporting the U.N. to handle an ongoing global refugee crisis. In January 2017, during his high-profile visit to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged RMB 200 million in humanitarian assistance to address the plight of Syrian refugees. This talk looks into both external and domestic factors to explain this policy shift. Internationally, the nature and structure of the overall refugee flow has changed significantly since the end of Cold War. With its relative political stability and economic wealth, China unexpectedly has evolved into a desirable destination for refugees. Domestically, international migration and refugees are already re-shaping some corners of China. Unlike the previous wave of globalization – mostly driven by trade and commerce, a new wave of globalization – exemplified by the increasing presence of immigrant communities in China – will have more profound impact on Chinese society. In the long run, the refugee issue will go beyond the diplomatic and political realms in China, as it is not only international reputational gain or loss that the Chinese government would have to consider when making decisions about refugee related policies.
Fengshi Wu (BA from Beijing University, PhD from University of Maryland), Senior Lecturer, Asia Institute, is specialized in environmental politics, Chinese politics and global governance. Prior to joining the University of Melbourne, she was Associate Professor and Deputy Coordinator of the MSc in IR programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Assistant and Associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2005-2013). Dr. Wu was selected as a Visiting Scholar to spend a year at the Harvard-Yenching Institute (2008-09). She was also among the inaugural class of the Graduate Fellows of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences (2004). Her edited book, China’s Global Quest for Resources: Energy, Food and Water, was published by Routledge in 2017.
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