Peng Nian

Peng Nian

Director, Hong Kong Research Center for Asian Studies (RCAS)

Dr Peng Nian is director of the Hong Kong Research Center for Asian Studies (RCAS). He obtained his PhD in international relations from the Hong Kong Baptist University. His main research interests are in the areas of China-Southeast (South) Asian relations, Sino-US relations, and maritime security of the Indo-Pacific region. He authored the book A Study on Indo-Myanmar Relations after the Cold-War (Beijing: Current Affairs Press, 2017).

Philippine Coast Guard personnel prepare rubber fenders after Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocked their way to a resupply mission at the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, on 5 March 2024. (Adrian Portugal/Reuters)

Would Marcos’s dialogue promises bring peace and stability to the South China Sea?

The joint military exercises that the Philippines has conducted with the US and its allies have not only failed to decrease China’s “offensives” but also incited its “aggressiveness”, says Chinese academic Peng Nian.
The Philippine's Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr (left) and Vietnam's President Vo Van Thuong (right) attend a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on 30 January 2024. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Philippine President Marcos Jr's visit to Vietnam: Creating a 'united front' over South China Sea issue?

President Marcos Jr’s overtures to Vietnam during his recent visit to Hanoi seem to indicate that ASEAN claimant states are starting to “gang up” on China. But the picture is not so clear-cut, says Chinese academic Peng Nian, when one considers Vietnam’s interests and relations with China.
A China Coast Guard (left) vessel blocks BRP Melchora Aquino (right) during the Philippine coast guard’s mission to deliver provisions at Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea on 10 November 2023. (Jam Sta Rosa/AFP)

Civil society should not get involved in the South China Sea disputes

Chinese academic Peng Nian notes that the Philippines is playing a dangerous game by stoking civil society sentiments in the South China sea disputes. It could end up being a lose-lose situation for bilateral relations.
Sailors gesture on the USS Robert Smalls guided missile cruiser, which is part of the carrier group accompanying the US Navy's USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, at Tien Sa Port in Danang, Vietnam, on 25 June 2023. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Is Vietnam teaming up with the US against China?

While it seems that the port call of the USS Ronald Reagan in Vietnam recently signals a reinvigoration of US-Vietnam military cooperation, Vietnam will be circumspect in ensuring that it does not let the US interfere in its domestic affairs or jeopardise its relationship with China.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III (right) meets Philippines President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (left) at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines, 2 February 2023. (Jam Sta Rosa/Pool via Reuters)

Chinese academic: The Philippines' closer ties with US could cross China's bottom line

Chinese academic Peng Nian looks at the US expanding its access to new military bases in the Philippines, which China is particularly concerned with. He says that while the Philippines want to find a sweet spot in navigating China-US competition, it must be extra vigilant in dealing with security cooperation with the US in the South China Sea so as not to aggravate China-Philippines relations.
Passengers from China's Xiamen arrive at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport after China reopens its borders amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Bangkok, Thailand, 9 January 2023. (Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

How China and ASEAN could help each other transition to the new normal

Researcher Peng Nian notes that China’s efforts to strengthen its relations with ASEAN through building a “community with a shared future for mankind” could ramp up as its borders reopen. While it may take time for the ASEAN member states to open their arms again to China, progress is far from being at a standstill.
Rescue workers and onlookers gather around a wreck after a bus plunged into a ravine following a bomb explosion, which killed 13 people including nine Chinese workers, in the Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan on 14 July 2021. (STR/AFP)

Chinese researcher: How to protect the BRI and keep Chinese enterprises overseas safe

As an increasing number of Chinese enterprises venture overseas and the BRI project continues its expansion, Peng Nian notes the rise in attacks targeted against these projects. He says much can be done to strengthen the safety awareness of Chinese enterprises, especially as many of them operate in unfamiliar or far-flung locations.
A protester holds a flare as others make the three-finger salute during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on 22 June 2021. (STR/AFP)

Chinese researcher: Why China avoids taking a strong stand on Myanmar

Since the military coup in Myanmar in February, China has been criticised by the West for not taking a strong stand against the situation. Chinese researcher Peng Nian explains China's difficult position and its hope for ASEAN to successfully mitigate the problem. What China can do now is to assist Myanmar with the fight against the pandemic, he says.
As the US pulls out of certain international organisations, China stands ready to take its place. (iStock)

New battleground for China-US competition: International organisations

From bilateral and multilateral diplomatic situations, to international economic organisations and non-economic organisations, the competition between China and the US has intensified in a different way during the pandemic, as new battlegrounds for influence are created. Chinese researcher Peng Nian presents the possible areas that the US and China might continue to clash, even after the pandemic eases.