Zijie Zhang is a student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in the Master of International Public Policy program. His research interests center around the constructive role of middle powers like Canada in establishing new norms in the Indo-Pacific in the fields of global governance.
He received his doctoral degree in International Relations from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences with a specialization in American foreign policy. During his Ph. D. program, He spent one year in Washington, D.C., investigating the lobby of the Taiwanese on Capitol Hill as a Fulbright grantee, which sparked his interests in the implications of structural change over middle powers on international stage. Under current circumstances, the tug of war between Washington and Beijing has shaken the once fixed and hierarchical order in the Indo-Pacific, giving rise to a series of “strategic vacuums” that can be exploited by middle powers to leave their marks. Ottawa, given its role in global governance, has the potential to establish new norms in those “structural holes” in cooperation with other middle powers in the region.
Zijie Zhang’s scholarly works about Sino-U.S. rivalry in Indo-Pacific affairs appeared in several academic journals such as Diplomatic Briefing. As a veteran of international exchange, he also actively engaged in public diplomacy across the Pacific. During his university career, he was commissioned by the local authority to explore the potential of public diplomacy in global governance to supplement national-level diplomacy.
While at BSIA, Zijie Zhang expects to upgrade his research toolkit with the latest methods and theories. After graduation, he plans to build a career as a policy advisor for people and entities willing to increase mutual understanding and avoid miscalculations across the Pacific in a period of strategic uncertainties.