Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Biweekly, Wednesday, 10 – 12, Week 1   FULL
Room 5

While the rise of China has resulted in a great deal of exposure in the western media, the economic and political development of its neighbours remains relatively unexplored. This workshop will look at some of the 14 countries with whom China shares a land border – Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Mongolia, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, and Afghanistan. Each workshop participant will choose a particular country for a 20 to 30 minute presentation.


Rick Guisso ( has facilitated a number of Asian-focused workshops, studying the histories of China, Japan, and the countries of the Ottoman Empire. He is keenly interested in exploring China’s expanding role in today’s world.

Philip Wong ( retired after a career of 30+ years in Information Technology and Project Management. Currently he is a member of the Academy’s Curriculum Committee and Technical Leadership team.

Workshop Notes

This is a workshop about taking a particular facet of the growing confidence and assertiveness of Chinese foreign policy. While Western media coverage of China focuses virtually all of its attention on the Chinese economy, tariffs and trade wars, the Belt and Road initiate in Europe, Africa and South America, as well as on human rights violations and growing political repression, China is quietly securing its Asian base. This is the subject of the workshop.

Participants in the workshop will choose for study a particular country, possibly one which they have visited,. They will introduce the country with a brief history, some relevant facts about its politics and economy etc., and perhaps some audio-visual illustration. The concluding portion of the report will look at Chinese policy toward that country, exploring how, by a combination of economic aid, friendly exchanges and informal alliances, as well as by intimidation and trade manipulation, China enhances connections, sometimes commands reliance and attempts to weaken and even expel American influence from the Asia-Pacific region.

Participants may choose to study not only one of the countries with which China shares a land-border but also other countries which occupy a strategic position such as Malaysia, Singapore or the Philippines.