China-in-Asia: Historical Connections and Contemporary Engagement

Ever since Chinese President Xi Jinping came into power in 2012, the Chinese state has restored the significance of neighborhood diplomacy as a cornerstone of China’s international relations regime. China has actively engaged with Asian countries through sociocultural, political, and economic relations. Following renowned anthropologist James Ferguson’s conception of place-in-the-world, we use China-in-Asia to reveal China’s geographic location in Asia and a rank in a system of sociocultural, economic, and political categories.

The Department of Geography at the University of Oregon plans to organize a workshop on “China-In-Asia: Historical Connections and Contemporary Engagement,” which will be held in Eugene, OR, on 24-25 April 2020. This China-in-Asia workshop attempts to explore China’s engagement with Asian countries, historically and contemporarily, and to establish a multidisciplinary platform for in-depth constructive dialogue among scholars from various social science disciplines who are interested in expanding discussions of the changing relation between China and the Asian formation. Participants will compare and contrast empirical data and research findings to portray a comprehensive spectrum of China’s engagement with Asia. Through comparison and contrast, we can thus transcend the territorial fixities of area-studies research without discounting the significance of contextually grounded, place-based knowledge. We invite participation from scholars working on, but not limited to, such topics as:

  • Border politics and cross-border networks;
  • Cultural diffusion and the transformation of culture;
  • The dynamics of Asian production networks;
  • Transnational agribusiness and the politics of land;
  • Investment and knowledge mobilities;
  • Immigration and labor relations;
  • International relations and China’s neighborhood diplomacy;
  • The Belt and Road Initiatives in Asia

Abstracts of maximum 250 words should be sent to Associate Professor Xiaobo Su (email: by 31 December 2019. Please also include 1) Name; 2) Institutional affiliation; 3) Title/position; 4) E-mail address. Accepted presenters will receive notification by email by 15 January 2020. There is no registration fee. The deadline for full papers is 31 March 2020. Each presenter has 30 minutes to present research findings and another 10 minutes for further discussion with other attendants.