CeMEAS Conversations: Julie Chen

CeMEAS Conversations: Julie Chen

Exploring China’s Relations with Central Asia: Insights from Uzbek and Kazakh Scholars

In this interview, Julie Chen (University of Helsinki) discusses the following questions:

1. From the perspective of Central Asian nations, what are the core concerns regarding Xinjiang/Uyghur matters and how do they impact China’s relations with the region?

2. How do domestic factors and international politics influence scholars in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in their pursuit of Chinese studies? Could you share key findings from your recent oral history interviews in these countries?

3. In your recent research on China-Central Asia relations, you use a comparative epistemological approach. What shapes Central Asian intellectuals’ understanding of China and how does this impact regional education, politics, and economics?

Julie Yu-Wen Chen is a Professor of Chinese Studies in the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki. Her research and teaching span the domains of humanities and social sciences, encompassing critical areas such as China’s soft power, the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s political and economic initiatives in post-Soviet societies (Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe), Africa, and Nordic countries. Her scholarly pursuits extend to the realms of collective action theories, interest groups, transnational advocacy networks,as well as globalization and glocalization. She is currently a co-principal investigator for the EU Twinning project “The EU in the Volatile Indo-Pacific Region” (Horizon 2021).

She also represents Finland in the COST ACTION: China in Europe Research Network, funded by EU Horizon 2020. Julie serves as one of the Editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science, and is currently a board member of the European Association for Chinese Studies. Previously, she served as the chair of the Nordic Association of China Studies and as the Editor-in-Chief of Asian Ethnicity (Taylor & Francis).

This video was recorded as part of our ENLIGHT workshop ‘More than a Distant Relative: China and its Neighbors in an Increasingly Turbulent World.’