Sino-British Relations in the Context of Brexit
How does the British society think about China and how should United Kingdom manage its bilateral relations have not been studied systematically. Particularly, we are interested in what are the discernable differences of such public opinion between people of different political persuasion. Are those different perceptions follow existing political divisions within the British society in the context of Brexit? In this study, we take the first step toward filling this knowledge gap by conducting a novel online survey in the post-Brexit United Kingdom. Our research findings indicate that there is a clear division of opinion toward China that follows the line of British nationalists vs internationalists. For people who supports Brexit and believes in British nationalism to maintain Britain’s independence from the European Union, these are also the people who most likely to host negative perceptions of China, more wary of China as a military threat, and held lower estimates of China’s international profile. On the contrary, for people who believe in a more internationalized Britain, i.e. people who subscribe to the opinion that Britain is better served to be within the European Union, they are more likely to see closer engagement between the two countries and have overall more positive perception of China’s place within the international society.

Dr. Enze Han is an Associate Professor at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. He received a Ph.D in Political Science from the George Washington University in the United States in 2010, and he later was a postdoctoral research fellow in the China and the World Program at Princeton University. During 2015-2016, he was a Friends Founders’ Circle Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, USA. Previously Dr. Han was Senior Lecturer in the International Security of East Asia at SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom.

Faculty host: Jean Hong (
Speaker(s) Dr. Enze Han
The University of Hong Kong
Date 3 Apr 2019 (Wednesday)
Time 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Venue Room 3401 (via lifts 17-18), Academic Building, HKUST
Dr. Enze Han
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
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