China, joining the Polar Club?

With China opening it’s fourth Antarctic station last year, planning a fifth and increasingly being active in the Arctic, it is changing the dynamic amongst the traditional ‘Polar States’.

In setting its sights on the polar regions now, what are China’s long term plans for its economic, political, strategic needs? What changes are needed in the international system given China’s signalling on entering the ranks of the polar great powers?

On September 12th Guest Speakers Dr Anne-Marie Brady from the University of Canterbury, and Dr Julia Jabour from the University of Tasmania helped to answer these questions and more as they discussed China’s influence and activities on the Polar regions in front of a captivated audience of close to 100 people.

Dr Julia Jabour addresses the audience

Dr Julia Jabour addresses the audience

The talk was the 2nd China Briefing for the year which is one of our longest running and most popular programs. Designed to provide up to date knowledge of the most recent developments in China’s political, economic and cultural spheres that are of the most concern to the Australian public, our briefings bring top experts in the field to South Australian audiences to present speeches, talks or forums, free to the public.

In this case the audience heard from two of Australia’s foremost Antarctic experts, with Dr Jabour giving a wonderful overview of the current legal status and situation of China’s operations in the Antarctic, while Dr Brady gave the audience context into the Chinese political thinking on the polar regions, giving a sneak peak of her soon to be published research and forthcoming new book.


Dr Anne-Marie Brady is Professor of Political Science at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington DC and non-resident Senior Fellow at the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham. In 2014 she was appointed to a two-year term on the World Economic Forum’s Global Action Council on the Arctic. A highly regarded specialist on Chinese politics as well as polar politics, she is editor-in-chief of The Polar Journal, and has written four monographs, six edited books, and more than forty scholarly papers on a range of issues including China’s Arctic and Antarctic interests, China’s modernised propaganda system, New Zealand-China relations, NZ foreign policy and competing foreign policy interests in Antarctica. Her most recent book is China as a Polar Great Power (New York: Cambridge University Press and Wilson Press, 2016).

Dr Julia Jabour is a member of the Ocean & Antarctic Governance Research Program at IMAS. She has been researching, writing, and lecturing on polar governance for 20 years. Based at the University of Tasmania, she has visited Antarctica six times, and been an advisor to the Australian Government at Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings on three occasions.


Professor Mobo Gao is the director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide, and he is the author of books including Remembering Socialist China,1949-1976 (2015, co-author), The Battle for China’s Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution (2008), Gao Village: Rural Life in Modern China (1999).

A video Dr Jabour’s talk can be seen on Youtube at the following address 

This entry was posted in China Briefing, News, Past Events. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.