APARC_China Program_Research

Village official talking to China Program faculty, Jean Oi and Xueguang Zhou, and researchers from the NDRC during fieldwork in China.


Facilitating multidisciplinary, social science-oriented research, both basic and policy-relevant, on pressing challenges related to contemporary China.

Our Approach

Unlike programs that operate within a single social science discipline or an exclusive national-area focus, the China Program promotes interdisciplinary research covering wide-ranging topics, from China’s international behavior and its Belt and Road Initiative to Chinese governance, and from the country’s fiscal reform to its domestic health policies and economics of inequality and education.

In these fractious times of increasing uncertainty in international relations, volatile geopolitics, and unprecedented threats to the global economy, it is all the more important to better understand China. Towards this goal, we actively pursue research collaborations with scholars and leading organizations in China and provide on-campus and in-country research opportunities for Stanford students and faculty

Current Research Projects

Chinese construction workers in Colombo, Sri Lanka

China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Political Actors and Agendas

Taking an institutional and micro-level approach, this project investigates whether China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a tightly coordinated central state effort and investigates its nature and implications.
World flags, with China's at the front, at the south entrance of Expo 2010 Shanghai, near the Expo Boulevard, in front the China pavilion.

China and the World: Strategies, Partners, Shapers

Redressing the imbalance in most analyses of China’s international behavior, this project examines the actions of China’s partners and how they have shaped Chinese foreign policy and engagement.
Photograph of Xi Jinping and Vladmir Putin walking in front of two lines of armed Chinese soldiers

Assessing the China-Russia Military Relationship

A new framework helps understand the nature and purpose of the unconventional alignment between China and Russia, its impacts on China’s military position in Asia, and its implications for U.S. strategy.
U.S. Navy Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Louie Beasley, Jr., from Oklahoma City, directs an MH-60S Sea Hawk, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25, while landing on the flight deck of the guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) during deck lan

Chinese Maritime Ambitions: Implications for U.S. regional interests

Whether in the near or far seas, China’s objectives engage U.S. interests. This research develops a framework for interpreting the nuances of China's maritime ambitions and devising effective U.S. strategic responses.
he Chinese city of Xamen is seen in the distance behind aged anti-landing barricades on a beach facing China on the Taiwanese island of Kinmen which, at points lies only a few miles from China, on April 19, 2018 in Kinmen, Taiwan.

Deterrence and Defense Across the Taiwan Strait

Cross-strait deterrence is arguably weaker today than at any point since the Korean War. This research project analyzes the political and strategic dynamics underpinning deterrence in the region.
Chinese soldiers from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) 196th Infantry Brigade perform drill at their barracks in Yangcun, 100 km east of Beijing, China

The U.S.-China Great Power Competition

A new conceptual framework reveals how China has managed to build power from a weaker resource position in the international system and how the United States can successfully compete with China.
Ancient and modern buildings in Beijing

Fiscal Politics and Central-Local Relations in China

This project probes China’s local government debt problem, a vital issue for the prospects of striking a balance between central control and local discretion and for the fate of the Chinese development model.
Poster: "Advance Courageously Under the Guidance of the Red Flag of Mao Zedong Thought", 1966

Political Violence and State Repression

Drawing on highly classified materials, this project sheds light on one of the largest rebellions of the 20th century that took place in China and has been little explored due to government censorship.
Landscape and skyline of Shenzhen,, China

Structural Change in China: The Role of Institutions

This project examines how China’s state governance system is changing and adapting to tensions and opportunities in the country’s transformation and the role of institutions in shaping politics, reform, and authoritarian resilience.
Children in China study in a classroom

The Foundations of the Chinese Bureaucratic State

Forty years into China's reform process, thorny political problems challenge the core principles of the Chinese Community Party. This project examines how China’s political institutions help or hinder continued reform and the challenges they face.
Scholars during a panel discussion

Do Research with the China Program

We offer multiple fellowship and training opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals.

Andrew Walder and Barry Naughton at a panel discussion

Browse Our Publications

We share our research findings through peer-reviewed journals, scholarly and trade presses, policy reports, and Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center’s publishing program.

Explore More at the China Program