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China’s Rise in the Global South

China's Rise in the Global South


As China and the U.S. increasingly compete for power in key areas of U.S. influence, great power conflict looms. Yet few studies have looked to the Middle East and Africa, regions of major political, economic, and military importance for both China and the U.S., to theorize how China competes in a changing world system.

China’s Rise in the Global South examines China’s behavior as a rising power in two key Global South regions, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Dawn C. Murphy, drawing on extensive fieldwork and hundreds of interviews, compares and analyzes thirty years of China’s interactions with these regions across a range of functional areas: political, economic, foreign aid, and military. From the Belt and Road initiative to the founding of new cooperation forums and special envoys, China’s Rise in the Global South offers an in-depth look at China’s foreign policy approach to the countries it considers its partners in South-South cooperation.

Intervening in the emerging debate between liberals and realists about China’s future as a great power, Murphy contends that China is constructing an alternate international order to interact with these regions, and this book provides policymakers and scholars of international relations with the tools to analyze it.

Copies of the book can be purchased from Stanford University Press.

Registration is free and open to the public. The event will be held in 1957 E St NW, Room 505, Washington, DC 20052.

This event will be recorded and will be available on the Sigur Center YouTube channel after the event.


  • Dr. Dawn Murphy joined the National War College as an Associate Professor of National Security Strategy in 2022. Prior to joining NWC, her academic appointments included Associate Professor of International Security Studies at Air War College, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Princeton (Columbia)-Harvard China and the World Program at Princeton University. Murphy specializes in Chinese foreign policy and domestic politics, US-China relations, and international relations. Her research analyzes China’s interests and behavior as a rising global power towards the existing international order. She examines China’s relations with the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa in her book China’s Rise in the Global South: The Middle East, Africa, and Beijing’s Alternative World Order (Stanford University Press, 2022). It analyzes China’s foreign policy approach towards the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa regionally (e.g., political, economic, military, and foreign aid) and through detailed case studies of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the China-Middle East Issues Special Envoy, the China-Africa Issues Special Envoy, China’s Special Envoy for Syria, China’s naval base in Djibouti, and China’s Belt and Road initiative. Dr. Murphy holds a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and Ph.D. in Political Science from George Washington University.

  • Dr. David Shambaugh is an internationally recognized authority and award-winning author on contemporary China and the international relations of Asia. He is the Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science & International Affairs, and the founding Director of the China Policy Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He previously served in the Department of State and on the National Security Council staff during the Carter administration (1977-1979). From 1996-2016 he was also a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at The Brookings Institution. Professor Shambaugh was previously Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Reader in Chinese Politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), 1987-1996, where he also served as Editor of The China Quarterly. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, Advisory Board of the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), East-West Center Fellowship Board, is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and member of its Board of Studies, is a participant in the Aspen Strategy Group, and other public policy and scholarly organizations. An active public intellectual and frequent commentator in the international media, he also serves on numerous editorial boards, and has been a consultant to governments, research institutions, foundations, universities, corporations, banks, and investment funds. He has been selected for numerous awards and grants, including as a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Senior Scholar by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and a Senior Fulbright Scholar (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences). He has received research grants from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, German Marshall Fund, Hinrich Foundation, the British Academy, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and has been a visiting scholar or professor at universities in Australia, China, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, and he has lectured all over the world. As an author, Professor Shambaugh has published more than 30 books, including most recently International Relations of Asia (third edition, 2022); China’s Leaders: From Mao to Now (2021); Where Great Powers Meet: America & China in Southeast Asia (2021); and China & the World (2020). Other books include The China Reader: Rising Power (2016); Tangled Titans: The United States and China (2012); China’s Communist Party: Atrophy & Adaptation (2008); Power Shift: China & Asia’s New Dynamics (2005); and Modernizing China’s Military (2002); Making China Policy (2001); The Modern Chinese State (2000); Chinese Foreign Policy: Theory & Practice (1994); American Studies of Contemporary China (1993); and Beautiful Imperialist (1991). He has also authored numerous reports, scholarly articles and chapters, newspaper op-eds, and book reviews. He is reasonably fluent in Chinese, and has some French, German, and Spanish.

  • Dr. Gregg A. Brazinsky works on U.S.-East Asian relations and East Asian international history. He is interested in the flow of commerce, ideas, and culture among Asian countries and across the Pacific. He is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and Korean. He is the author of two books: Winning the Third World (2017), which focuses on Sino-American Rivalry in the Third World and Nation Building in South Korea (2007), which explores U.S.-South Korean relations during the Cold War. Currently, he is working on two other book projects. The first examines American nation-building in Asia during the Cold War. The second explores Sino-North Korean relations between 1949 and 1992 and focuses specifically on the development of cultural and economic ties between the two countries. He has received numerous fellowships to support his research including the Kluge Fellowship from the Library of Congress, the Smith Richardson Foundation junior faculty fellowship, and a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Center. Professor Brazinsky also currently serves as the director of the George Washington Cold War Group. As director of the Asian Studies Program, Professor Brazinsky has attracted some of the brightest students from around the country and the world who share a commitment to pursuing careers related to Asia. He helped to launch a special mentoring program for Asian Studies MA students and has worked to expand fellowship and professional opportunities for students in the program.