Amy King receives Westpac Fellowship

16 February 2017

The ANU recipient of the 2017 Westpac Fellowship says she hopes to use the next three years to pursue extensive research on China that will help Australia strengthen its understanding of its Asian neighbour.

Dr Amy King, from the ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC), is one of four 2017 Westpac Research Fellowship recipients, and was successful because of her ongoing research into China and its involvement in shaping the global economic order.

Dr King says some of the key economic areas that business and the Australian Government are interested in relate to China's 'Belt and Road' initiative, designed to connect countries in Eurasia, Africa and Oceania, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

"My research looks at the historical origins of these programs, and considers how China's history is shaping its contemporary economic ideas, strategies and goals," she said.

The Westpac Research Fellowship is awarded annually to four Australian academics who receive funding of up to $460,000 over three years to do research in technology and innovation, strengthening Australia-Asia ties and enabling positive social change.

As part of the fellowship, she will receive $330,000 from the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation over three years.

Dr King's research has also received funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) though a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).

Dr King, who is also a senior lecturer at the ANU Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, says the Fellowship provides her with the funding to do archival research and fieldwork in China, Taiwan, the United States and United Kingdom.

"China's 'Belt and Road' initiative and the AIIB are generating considerable attention and anxiety within the Australian government and business. I hope my research will help Australia to better understand the long-term strategic implications of China's global economic goals."

The election of US President Donald Trump has heightened her interest to continue research in this area.

"Australia's traditional strategic partners are stepping back, and rising powers like China are stepping up. This makes it more important than ever to help the world better understand China and its economic goals. 

"I hope my research will help Australia and the ANU play this role."