Xu Peng is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD). She holds an MSc in Development Studies from LSE, and a Bachelor's degree in Public Diplomacy from Jilin University, China, before joining SOAS. Her project was supported by several grants, including the Sino-British Fellowship Trust, Universities' China Committee in London (UCCL)'s Travel Grant, the BAME Research Training Grant, and all SOAS Doctoral School grants.
Her research aims to understand how borderland organisations utilize the leverage of the nation-state to gain its territory and establish its governance. In her research, she adopts a border-centric narrative, as borderland history is not the same as state-centric narrative history. Using comparison cases between Wa and Kokang, two ethnic armed groups located on the Chinese-Myanmar borderland, she examines how these borderland organisations resist nation-building and establish their governance. She utilised multiple data sources and interdisciplinary methodologies during her research, including archival materials, interviews, and ethnographic research.