RUSI Whitehall Paper Launch: PRC's Overseas Political Activities

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A panel discussion with Andrew Chubb to launch his Whitehall Paper.

Liberal democracies are increasingly concerned about threats to national security from the overseas political activities of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its supporters. Andrew Chubb’s Whitehall Paper, PRC Overseas Political Activities: Risk, Reaction and the Case of Australia, argues that an effective liberal democratic policy response requires careful disaggregation of distinct sets of risks: to national security; civil liberties; and academic freedom. Although widely cited as a model to follow, Australia’s response to these challenges illustrates how the aggregation of these diverse risks into a singular national security threat – commonly labelled ‘Chinese influence’ – can produce alarmist public policy discourse, legislative overreach and mismatched institutional responsibilities. The paper suggests a set of measures for liberal democracies to manage their engagement with China’s powerful and increasingly authoritarian party-state.

This panel discussion will examine Beijing’s influence activities in democratic states. The discussants, drawing on their expertise on China, the US and Australia, reflect on both the hype and reality, and consider how governments can better manage those genuine challenges that Beijing poses to the integrity of their political systems.

Watch the livestream and recording

Read the Whitehall Paper

PRC Overseas Political Activities: Risk, Reaction and the Case of Australia


  • Andrew Chubb

    Andrew Chubb is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Lancaster University, focusing on the linkages between China’s domestic politics and international relations.

  • Bonnie S Glaser

    Bonnie S Glaser is director of the Asia Programme at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. For more than three decades, Ms Glaser has worked at the intersection of Asia-Pacific geopolitics and US policy.

  • Jie Chen

    Jie Chen is an Associate Professor at the Discipline of Political Science and International Relations, the University of Western Australia. His research includes the politics and international relations of Greater China.

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