SOAS University of London

A year on. How Covid is changing China and how it engages with the world

Professor Steve Tsang

Date: 25 February 2021Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 25 February 2021Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Event

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In this short presentation, Professor Steve Tsang will highlight how China’s successful containment of the Covid Pandemic, in contrast to the failure of most major liberal democracies to do so, has enhanced the confidence of the Chinese Government under Xi Jinping to adopt an assertive approach to foreign policy. ‘Wolf-warrior’ diplomacy may not have been invented in 2020 but it was in the last twelve months that it received global recognition, though the Chinese Government has also dedicated itself to ‘PPE diplomacy’ and ‘vaccine diplomacy’. How should we understand China’s apparently conflicting approach that seeks to project soft power while its diplomats increasingly use the language of ‘wolf-warriors’?


The Continuing the Conversations event series discusses COVID-19 in relation to an academic topic presented by a member of SOAS’ Academic staff. The event will include a talk for about 20 minutes and then a discussion regarding questions from the audience for about 25 minutes. Please make sure to submit your questions when you register for the event.


Professor Steve Tsang joined SOAS in 2016 as Director of SOAS China Institute. His expertise includes 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. Professor Tsang is a frequent commentator for the BBC, including for programmes like Newsnight, BBC One News, BBC News Channel, Today, BBC World Service's various programmes such as Newshour and World Tonight. He has also appeared on Sky News, Channel 4 News, Channel 5 News, Voice of America, France 24, Channel News Asia, CNBC, Al Jazeera and Russia Today.


Professor Michael Charney is a professor at SOAS University of London, in the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (School of Interdisciplinary Studies) and the School of History, Religions, and Philosophies, where he teaches global security, strategic studies, and Asian military history. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1999 on the subject of the history of the emergence of religious communalism in Rakhine and has published a number of books on military history in Southeast Asia and the political and intellectual history of Myanmar. He is a regular commentator in the media on events in Myanmar.

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