Assistant Professor

Xiaojun (pronounced “shee·ow ji·win”) received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University and joined the department in 2013 as an assistant professor. He has also held visiting positions at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies (2014-2015), Fudan Development Institute (2016), and University of Hawaii’s East-West Center (2018).

His previous and ongoing research on international and comparative political economy can be broadly divided into three research programs that investigate (1) the impact of domestic politics on the process and content of foreign economic and security policies, (2) the impact of global supply chains on trade and investment, and (3) the political economy of trade liberalization in developing and post-communist countries. In all of these research programs, he uses China as the primary case of inquiry and employs a variety of methods, including interviews, archival research, historical institutional analysis, survey research, web-scraping, and large-N analysis.

His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, International Affairs, Canadian Journal of Political ScienceChinese Journal of International PoliticsForeign Policy Analysis, International Relations of the Asia-PacificJournal of Contemporary China, among others, and has received grants and awards from such organizations as the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the National Science Foundation of the United States, the American Political Science Association, the International Studies Association, the Association of Chinese Political Studies, and the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation.

At UBC, he offers undergraduate and graduate courses in international political economy, Chinese politics and Development, China in the world, and Quantitative Methods. For more information on his published and ongoing research, please visit his personal website.


Recent Research

How China Sees the World

Insights From China’s International Relations Scholars


Forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan (December 2019)

Order through Amazon.

This book intends to make sense of how Chinese leaders perceive China’s rise in the world through the eyes of China’s international relations (IR) scholars. Drawing on a unique, four-year opinion survey of these scholars carried out at the annual conference of the Chinese Community of Political Science and International Studies (CCPSIS) in Beijing from 2014–2017, the authors examine Chinese IR scholars’ perceptions and their changes over time of key issues related to China’s power, its relationship with the United States and other major countries, and China’s position in the international system. Furthermore, the authors complement the surveys with a textual analysis of the academic publications in China’s top five IR journals. By comparing and contrasting the opinion surveys and textual analyses, this book sheds new light on how Chinese IR scholars view the world as well as how they might influence China’s foreign policy.

  • First book that systematically examines Chinese scholars’ perceptions of international relations
  • Includes findings from a four-year survey research study (2014-2017) in Beijing, designed as a semi-longitudinal study in order to gauge the changing attitudes and perceptions of Chinese scholars
  • Part of a multi-year project, “Understanding China’s Rise through the Eyes of Chinese IR Scholars,” funded by the MacArthur Foundation


Brexit identities and British public opinion on China 

Wilfred M. Chow, Enze Han, Xiaojun Li

International Affairs, Volume 95, Issue 6, November 2019, Pages 1369–1387.
Read the paper here (Open Access):




Some of my other recent research profiled by the UBC Department of Political Science

Winter 2019

POLI321A Chinese Politics and Development - CHIN POLIT DEVEL Sections

The course will explore various aspects of Chinese politics and the dynamics of China's development since 1949. Topics include: the Cultural Revolution, political reform and protest, and economic reform policies and their consequences.

Winter 2019

POLI379 China in World Politics Sections

Impact and implications of the rise of China in historical and contemporary perspective.

PhD Students:

  1. Stephano Burzo, PhD co-supervisor, 2018-present.
  2. Yoel Kornreich, PhD Dissertation Committee Member, 2015-2018.
  3. Linting Zhang, PhD Dissertation Committee Member, 2015-2018.

MA students:

  1. Charles Bain, MA 2017, Thesis Examiner.
    • Thesis: “The Greening of Self-Interest: Why is China Standing Firm on its Climate Commitments Despite US Regression?”
  2. Miaofeng Zhang, MA 2016, Thesis Examiner.
    • Thesis: “To Reform or Not to Reform: China’s Hukou Reform at the Local Level”
  3. Wan-Ting Lu, MA 2016, Thesis Examiner.
    • Thesis: “Financial Reforms, Divided Interests, and Tipping Point Policy-Making: Renminbi Internationalization as a New Catalyst for Structural Reforms in China”


  1. Global Value Chains and the Politics of Preferential Trade Agreements (with Ka Zeng), University of Michigan Press (Michigan Studies in International Political Economy), forthcoming in Fall 2020.
  2. How China Sees the World (with Kai He and Huiyun Feng), Palgrave Macmillam, December 2019.
    -Order through Amazon.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

(* denotes graduate student co-authors)

  1. “Public Opinion, International Reputation, and Audience Costs in an Authoritarian Regime” (with Dingding Chen), Conflict Management and Peace Science, forthcoming.
  2. “Historical Ownership and Territorial Disputes” (with Songying Fang), Journal of Politics (2020), Volume 82, Issue 1, pp. 345–360.
  3. “Brexit Identities and British Public Opinion on China” (with Wilfred Chow and Enze Han), International Affairs (2019), Volume 95, Issue 6, pp. 1369–1387.
    – Blog: The Asia Dialogue
  4. “Geopolitics, Nationalism, and Foreign Direct Investment: Perceptions of the China Threat and American Public Attitudes toward Chinese FDI” (with Ka Zeng), Chinese Journal of International Politics (2019), Volume 12, Issue 4, pp. 495–518.
  5. “Anticipating Exclusion: Global Supply Chains and Chinese Business Responses to the Trans-Pacific Partnership” (with Robert Gulotty), forthcoming, Business and Politics, online first:
  6. “Misperceptions of Chinese Investments in Canada and Their Correction: Evidence from a Survey Experiment” (with Yingqiu Kuang* and Linting Zhang*), Canadian Journal of Political Science (2019), Volume 52, Issue 2, pp. 285–302.
  7. “Business as Usual? Economic Responses to Political Tensions between China and Japan” (with Adam Y. Liu*), International Relations of the Asia-Pacific (2019), Volume 19, Issue 2, pp. 213–236.
  8. “To Join or Not to Join? State Ownership, Commercial Interests, and China’s Belt and Road Initiative” (with Ka Zeng), Pacific Affairs (2019), Volume 92, Issue 1, pp. 5–26 (lead article).
    – Op-ed: Washington Post/Monkey Cage
  9. “China’s Evolving Motivations and Goals in UN Peacekeeping Participation” (with Songying Fang and Fanglu Sun), International Journal (2018), Volume 73, Issue 3, pp. 464–473.
  10. “Unpacking the Patterns of Corporate Restructuring during China’s SOE Reform”  (with Jean C. Oi), Economic and Political Studies (2018), Volume 6, Issue 2, pp. 118–134.
  11. “The Face of Internet Recruitment: Evaluating Labor Markets of Online Crowdsourcing Platforms in China” (with Weiyi Shi and Boliang Zhu), Research and Politics (2018), Volume 5, Issue 1, pp. 1–8.
    – Blogged by: UCSD China Data Lab
  12. “Public Perceptions of International Leadership in China and the United States” (with Stefano Burzo*), Chinese Political Science Review (2018), Volume 3, Issue 1, pp. 81–99.
  13. “Individual Preferences for FDI in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from China” (with Ka Zeng), Journal of Experimental Political Science (2017), Volume 4, Issue 3, pp. 195–205.
  14. “Does Conditionality Still Work? China’s Development Assistance and Democracy in Africa”, Chinese Political Science Review (2017), Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 201–220.
    -Op-ed: Washington Post/Monkey Cage
    -Media mention: BBC, CNNQuartz
  15. “Chinese Citizens’ Trust in Japan and South Korea: Findings from a Four-City Survey” (with Dingding Chen and Jianwei Wang), International Studies Quarterly (2016), Volume 60, Issue 4, pp. 778–789.
  16. “Measuring Local Corruption in China: A Cautionary Tale”, Journal of Chinese Political Science (2016), Volume 21, Issue 1, pp. 21–38.
  17. “Who Pollutes? Ownership Type and Environmental Performance of Chinese Firms” (with Chris Chan*), Journal of Contemporary China (2016), Volume 25, Issue 98, pp. 248–263.
    – Blogged by CNPolitics (政见): 哪种中国企业更“敢于”污染?
  18. “Understanding China’s Behavioral Change in the WTO Dispute Settlement System: Power, Capacity and Normative Constraints in Trade Adjudication”, Asian Survey (2012), Volume 52, Issue 6: 1111–1137.
  19. “U.S. Military Aid and Recipient Country Cooperation” (with Patricia Sullivan and Brock Tessman), Foreign Policy Analysis (2011), Volume 7, Issue 3: 275–294.
    – Reprinted in Helen V. Milner and Dustin Tingley (eds.) Geopolitics of Foreign Aid. Vol. II. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2013.
  20. “Social Rewards and Socialization Effects: an Alternative Explanation to the Motivation behind China’s Participation in International Institutions”. Chinese Journal of International Politics (2010), Volume 3, Issue 3: 347–377.
    – Reprinted in Xuefeng Sun, Matt Ferchen and M. Taylor Fravel (eds.) China’s Rise and International Norms. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Book Chapters 
  1. “Regulating China’s Inward FDI: Changes, Challenges, and the Future”, in Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein (eds.) To Get Rich Is Glorious: Challenges Facing China’s Economic Reform and Opening at Forty (2019), Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
  2. “Environmental Management, Financing and Performance in Chinese Firms: Evidence from a Nationwide Survey”, in Bingqiang Ren and Huisheng Shou (eds.) Governing the Chinese Environment in a Changing Society: Dynamics, Challenges, and Prospects (2013), Palgrave Macmillan.
  3. “Learning and Socialization in International Institutions: China’s Experience with the WTO Dispute Settlement System”, in Mingjiang Li (ed.) China Joins Global Governance: Cooperation and Contentions (2012). Rowman & Littlefield: Lexington Books.
  4. “Reciprocity and Adaptation in U.S-China Foreign Policy Behaviors”, in Robert Grafstein and Fan Wan (eds.) A Bridge Too Far?: Commonalities and Differences between China and the U.S. (2009), Rowman & Littlefield: Lexington Books.
Other Publications
  1. “Beijing is counting on its massive Belt and Road Initiative. But are Chinese firms on board?” The Washington Post/Monkey Cage, May 14, 2019.
  2. “China is offering ‘no strings attached aid’ to Africa. Here’s what that means.” The Washington Post/Monkey Cage, September 27, 2018.
  3. “Les Québécois Positifs et Pragmatiques Face à la Chine” (with Paul Evans and Pascale Massot), Les Affaires, May 20, 2018.
  4. “Quebec Survey Respondents Positive, Pragmatic about Ties with China” (with Paul Evans and Pascale Massot), The Hill Times, May 18, 2018.
  5. “Xi’s China a source of worry and wonder for Canadians” (with Paul Evans), The Globe and Mail, October 26, 2017.
  6. “Pragmatism admist Anxiety: Canadian Opinions on China and Canada-China Relations” (with Paul Evans), Institute of Asian Research, October 17, 2017.
    -Media Coverage: National Post, UBC News, Global Times (in Chinese), Xinhua News
  7. “China as a Trading Superpower”, in Nicholas Kitchen (ed.) China’s Geoeconomic Strategy, LSE IDEAS Special Report 12, London School of Economics, London, UK., 2012.
  8. “Legalizing Nuclear Abandonment: When Do States Enter Nuclear Weapons Free Zones?” (with Matthew Fuhrmann) , Harvard Kennedy School Managing the Atom Project, March 14, 2008.
  9. “China and Multilateral Export Control Regimes: A Case of Socialization Effects in International Institutions”, The Monitor (2006), Volume 12, Issue 1: 10-14, Center for International Trade and Security.

Work In Progress (Selected)

  1. “Bureaucratic Politics and Lawmaking under Xi Jinping: The Case of China’s New Foreign Investment Law”, R&R.
  2. “Trade Wars and Consumer Animosity: Evidence from Canada” (with Adam Liu), under review.
  3. “Territorial Indivisibility and Domestic Preference for Dispute Resolution: Evidence from Japan” (with Songying Fang, Daina Chiba, and Atsushi Tago), under review.
  4. “The Politics of Firm-level Environmental Regulatory Actions in China: Does Fixed Asset Intensity Affect Pollution Levies, Punitive Actions and Firm Environmental Ratings?” (with Qing Deng, Zijie Shao, and Xun Cao), under review.
  5. “More than Meets the Eye: Public Perceptions and Misperceptions of China”, in progress.


My latest CV can be found here.