Pacific Perspectives on the Rise of China

Date: 1 May 2009

Location: Wood Seminar Room, Old Kirk Building on Kelburn Campus

Speaker: Michael Powles


The seminar was held on 1 May 2009 at the Wood Seminar Room, Old Kirk Building on Kelburn Campus.

China's rise is changing the political and economic landscape of the Asia-Pacific region. Specific challenges face Oceania, not least in a re-balancing of the regional order. China's thirst for natural resources may bring economic benefits but will also require increased regional cohesion to ensure that such benefits are sustainable.

As Michael Powles will argue in this seminar, engagement with China is the only sensible option, but the countries of Oceania will need to act cooperatively (as envisaged in the Pacific Plan) and develop an understanding of factors that will determine China's policies in the wider region.

Michael Powles has represented New Zealand overseas in several capacities, including Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador to China, Ambassador to Indonesia and High Commissioner to Fiji (and concurrently Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu).

He is also a former Deputy Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for the South Pacific, North Asia, the United Nations, the Middle East and Africa. Mr Powles holds a Masters of Law from Victoria University.

He was a Human Rights Commissioner from 2001 to 2005 and currently is a Senior Fellow with the New Zealand Centre for Strategic Studies, and an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Institute of International Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai.