This episode explores the security dynamics of China’s increasing involvement in the Pacific Islands. Our guest, Dr. Anna Powles, analyzes perceptions of China’s presence in the region and emphasizes the agency that Pacific Islands have in navigating geopolitical competition. Dr. Powles also explains China’s investments and interests in the region’s natural resources, concerns over Chinese pressure on countries that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, and the most successful strategies for regional powers’ future engagement across the Pacific.
Dr. Anna Powles is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University in New Zealand. Dr. Powles’ research focuses on the regional security order of the Pacific Islands region, including the role of non-state actors and China.