SOAS University of London

New Director of SOAS China Institute appointed

​SOAS University of London has announced the appointment of Professor Steve Tsang as Professor of Chinese Studies and the new Director of the SOAS China Institute.

Professor Tsang, until recently Head of the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham, is a political scientist and historian whose areas of expertise include politics and governance in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the foreign and security policies of China and Taiwan and peace and security in East Asia. He previously served as Director of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham from 2011-14, and was a Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford (1994-2011).

Professor Tsang said: “I look forward to joining SOAS University of London as the Director of the SOAS China Institute. It is very exciting to be part of an Institute that is home to a wide-range of talented experts covering the many different aspects of China: from politics, society and economics to history, art and culture. I look forward to working with this extraordinary team of experts to reinforce SOAS as the leading centre for disseminating insights on China.”

Professor Richard Black, Pro-Director (Research and Enterprise) added: “Since its launch, the SOAS China Institute has established itself as a leading centre for Chinese Studies in the UK and expert analysis on a wide-range of issues. As we build on our international relationships in SOAS’s centenary year, we look forward to Professor Tsang leading the SOAS China Institute into its next phase on the global stage.”

Professor Tsang’s leadership of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham enabled the CPI to become a leading think tank and research centre on greater China in the EU.
His most recent publications are the edited book China in the Xi Jinping Era (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and Chiang Kai-shek’s “secret deal” at Xian and the start of the Sino-Japanese War (Palgrave Communications 1:1, 2015). He studied at the University of Hong Kong and completed his DPhil at the University of Oxford.

The SOAS China Institute officially launched in 2014 as an expert resource for the wider world of business, policy and media. More than fifty China experts in the social sciences and the humanities at SOAS, as well as international perspectives from the School's regional expertise in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, drive forward the Institute’s activities and collaborations.

Professor Tsang will begin his post on 1 December, taking over from Professor Michel Hockx, the founding Director of the SOAS China Institute who moved to the University of Notre Dame in July 2016. 

In the interim period, Dr Andrea Janku, Senior Lecturer in the History of China at SOAS, has been appointed as the Acting Director of the Institute until the end of November 2016

亚非学院中国研究院, 拥有近50 名教职员, 汇集了亚非学院所有的中国问题专家,致力于创建一个全球性的
研究机构及学术中心, 从古代到当代, 跨越政治、经济、语言、法律、艺术和文化各个学科,对不同语境下的中国及其复杂性进行全面的探讨和交流。

The China Debate:How healthy is China?

On 27 April Ms Carrie Gracie (BBC China Editor) presented a panel of experts from the worlds of academic, business and the arts that offered their views on the remnants of the many revolutions that continue to permeate life in China today, delving into the historical and cultural contexts that so often get overlooked. 

Watch the video


Facts and figures

affiliated academics working in 14 humanities and social science departments.


The Institute is working closely with exceptional regional academic and business partners to build a truly world-leading, interdisciplinary research programme across the social sciences and humanities within eight China-focused themes.

Dr Jieyu Liu, Deputy Director of the Institute, received a European Research Council (ERC) grant of almost €1.5 million for her research on Chinese families in East Asia. The five-year project entitled 'Doing Intimacy: A Multi-sited Ethnography of Modern Chinese Family Life’ will provide the first comprehensive study of practices of intimacy in Chinese families, their intertwining with gender and intergenerational dynamics, and interrelations with local and global change

The Institute delivers interdisciplinary research seminars and workshops; organises high profile lecture events; and facilitates roundtable meetings on current affairs.


The MA Advanced Chinese Studies provides high-level bilingual training in Chinese Studies across more than ten different disciplines in the social sciences and humanities

The MSc Contemporary China Studies combines high quality postgraduate social science research methodology training with a comprehensive study of contemporary China.

We rank 2nd in the UK in the Times & Sunday Times University League Table 2015, 5th in the Complete University Guide 2015 (East & South East Asia)

Postdoctoral Researcher opportunity

The SOAS China Institute is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Researcher to work on a European Research Council funded project entitled 'Doing Intimacy: A Multi-sited Ethnography of Modern Chinese Family Life’, led by the Principal Investigator, Dr Jieyu Liu.