Economic and Social Research Council
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The British Inter-university China Centre (BICC), collaboration between Oxford, Manchester, and Bristol Universities funded by a £5million grant under the government’s “Language-Based Area Studies” scheme, is to hold a major international conference in London and Manchester on 27-29 November looking at China’s changing role in the political world.
The conference convenor, Professor William A. Callahan of Manchester University, highlights the timeliness of this event. “As Obama’s visit to China last week showed,” says Callahan, “the PRC is consolidating its position as a major power on the world stage. We need to see how Beijing is using this new leverage to expand from being an economic power to be a political and cultural power.”

BICC, whose funding comes through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the Higher Education Funding Councils for Scotland and England, was established in 2006 to develop academic excellence in Chinese Studies, based on a rigorous knowledge of Mandarin.

The Centre’s Director, Dr Frank Pieke from Oxford, stresses the importance of assessing China’s changing role in a variety of matrices. “The Global Politics of China conference will examine how Beijing is changing the rules of international politics in three arenas,” he says, “the geopolitics of EU-US-China relations; the emergence of BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) as alternative centres of global power; and China’s use of soft power on the world stage.”

The conference will consist of a series of round table sessions featuring international experts on November 27th, to be held at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London, followed by a day of academic panels to be held at Manchester University on November 28th, before a series of language workshops on November 29th.

Anyone wishing to attend the London event may do so by contacting


1. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s planned total expenditure in 2009/10 is £204 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at

2. Arts & Humanities Research Council: Each year the AHRC provides approximately £102 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from languages and law, archaeology and English literature to design and creative and performing arts. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,350 postgraduate awards. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC please see:



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