China’s cultural linguistic, political and economic influence has spread broadly through East Asia. During China’s period of weakness, which included most of the 19th and 20th centuries, China’s outward-bound power was sharply curtailed. However, the 21st century has seen a rapid growth of China’s global reach, including President Xi’s signature Belt & Road Initiative.
Gordon Houlden is Director Emeritus of the China Institute and professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Professor Houlden joined the Canadian foreign service in 1976, serving in Ottawa and abroad. Twenty-two of his thirty-two years in the Canadian Foreign Service were spent working on Chinese economic, trade and political affairs for the Government of Canada including five postings in China. His last assignment before joining the University of Alberta was as Director General of the East Asian Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. His third co-edited book on the South China Sea was published in the summer of 2021 by Bristol University Press.