Small and Medium-Sized Powers' Response to China’s Rise: A Conversation with Luke Patey

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In this episode, Dr. Luke Patey joins us to discuss the implications of China’s rise in a dynamic world and how the rest of the world should respond. Dr. Patey challenges the idea that an ascendant China will lead to a world in which small developing countries become a sphere of influence for China. Alternatively, he contends smaller nations are not content to play a subservient role and there is room for pushback when China overreaches. He stresses that middle powers such as Japan and India can play a significant role in shaping global affairs and the global economy. In addition, Dr. Patey contends that in advanced democracies, China’s economic power and its willingness to use that power are often exaggerated. Lastly, Dr. Patey argues national leaders should escape the hawks-and-doves dichotomy, explaining that the importance of China demands more nuance because various countries’ business, political, and security relations with China are interconnected.

Dr. Luke Patey is a senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies and a lead senior research fellow of the Africa oil and gas program at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. He is the author of How China Loses: The Pushback Against Chinese Global Ambitions. His current research focuses on China's foreign and security policy and Chinese foreign investment and trade, with a focus on China’s relations in Europe, Africa, and East Asia.

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