Change in A Time of China

Programme Details

Dr Nicholas Thomas | Asian and International Studies

Dr Nicholas ThomasDr Nicholas Thomas is an Associate Professor and Associate Head of the Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong.  His book publications include: Regionalism and Governance in Asia (2009), Advancing East Asian Regionalism (2007) (with Melissa Curley), Southeast Asia and China: Continuity and Change (2006) (with Nie Dening), China-ASEAN: Political and Strategic Ties (2005) (with James Chin), Re-Orienting Australia-China Relations: 1972 to the Present (2004), and Democracy Denied: Identity, Civil Society and Illiberal Democracy in Hong Kong (1999). He has published articles on East Asian regionalism, non-traditional security challenges and Chinese foreign policy with such journals as Asian Survey, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Australian Journal of International Affairs, Asian Perspective, Asian Journal of Social Science, Journal of International and Area Studies and Security Dialogue. He is a member of the Australia committee of the Council for the Security Cooperation in the Asian Pacific (CSCAP). Email: <>


The rise of China since the early 1980s has had a profound impact on the international order.  No longer do we focus our attention on the G7 or G8 to chart our shared future instead our attention is increasingly drawn to what happens at the G2 – the interactions between the United States and China.  But, unlike all the other major powers, the United States and China hold very different worldviews.  The outcome of the debates between these two powers while have a profound impact on the way the globe is governed; presaging a power struggle or transition.  But who will lead?  How is this transition likely to unfold?  And will it be peaceful?  At its colonial birth Hong Kong was a window into China.  Over the last century, it became a window out from China.  Occupying this space between these two worlds means that Hong Kong - more than many other places - needs to seek the answers to these questions and understand the ramifications of what we might find.