Patron: His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand

Asia Forum

Chinese Hard power, Chinese Soft power, and the Dynamics of US-China-Southeast Asia Relations

Speaker: Dr Bates Gill
Sir Howard Kippenberger Visiting Chair in CSS, VUW

Event Date: Tuesday 6th September 2016
Event Time: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Event Location: Bell Gully
Level 21, 171 Featherston Street, Wellington.

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Professor Bates Gill

Sir Howard Kippenberger Visiting Chair in CSS, VUW; Professor of Asia-Pacific Strategic Studies Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Coral Bell School of Asia and Pacific Affairs, Australian National University; and Board Director, China Matters


Professor Bates Gill is one of the world’s foremost experts on China and Asian strategic affairs and international relations. He is Professor of Asia-Pacific Studies at Australia’s leading university-based think tank, the ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC). Professor Gill has a 25-year career in international affairs as a scholar, policy advisor, institution-builder, and active global citizen. First travelling to China in 1986 and making more than 60 working trips since the early 1990s, Professor Gill was recently named by the Chinese Foreign Affairs University as among the top 10 American China watchers. Professor Gill has a long record of research and publication on international and regional security issues, including arms control, non-proliferation, peacekeeping and military-technical development. This work has resulted in more than 140 publications, including books, monographs, chapters, journal articles, essays, magazine columns and opinion pieces, and research-related travel to more than 50 countries. Over the course of his distinguished career Prof Gill’s work has appeared in a number of prestigious outlets, including Foreign Affairs (four times), Asian Survey, The Washington Quarterly and Survival, to name just a few. Bates has also raised approximately US$15 million in research funding for the various institutes and programs that he has worked at over the past two decades. Professor Gill received his PhD in Foreign Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia, USA. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was inducted in to the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars in 2007. He is also recipient of the Royal Order of the Commander of the Polar Star, the highest award bestowed upon foreigners by the Swedish monarch, for his contributions to Swedish interests. Dr Gill is also a Board Director for China Matters, a Sydney-based non-profit strategic advisory and public policy initiative. From 2012 to 2015 he was the Chief Executive Officer of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, and from 2007 to 2012 was Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.


As the strategic centre of gravity in the Indo-Pacific shifts increasingly toward Southeast Asia and strategic competition between China and the United States is on the rise in the region, the relationship amongst these three parties demands greater and greater attention.  Escalating tensions in the South China Sea over the past several months only underscore this point.  Drawing on 30 years’ experience following Chinese foreign and security policy, Dr Gill will focus in particular on China’s use of both hard and soft power in its relations with Southeast Asia and assess how this in turn affects stability in US-China-Southeast Asia ties and in the Asia-Pacific region.

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