NATIONAL OFFICE: Are the Belt and Road Initiative and the Free and Open Indo Pacific compatible?
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 at 4:00pm via Zoom

Panel discussion with:

Professor Akio Takahara (Professor of Contemporary Chinese Politics at the Graduate School of Law and Politics and the Graduate School of Public Policy @University of Tokyo)

Akio Takahara is Professor of Contemporary Chinese Politics at the Graduate School of Law and Politics and the Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP) at The University of Tokyo. He received his DPhil in 1988 from Sussex University, and later spent several years as Visiting Scholar at the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong, the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, Harvard University, Peking University, and at the Mercator Institute for China Studies. Before joining The University of Tokyo, he taught at J. F. Oberlin University and Rikkyo University. He served as President of the Japan Association for Asian Studies, and as the Secretary General of the New Japan-China Friendship 21st Century Committee. Akio was Dean of GraSPP from 2018 to 2020. He currently serves as Senior Fellow of the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research, Senior Adjunct Fellow of the Japan Institute of International Affairs, Distinguished Research Fellow of the Japan Forum on International Relations.

Professor Natasha Hamilton-Hart (Director of New Zealand Asia Institute @University of Auckland)

Natasha Hamilton-Hart is Professor in the Department of Management and International Business. She has a BA(Hons) from the University of Otago and a PhD from Cornell University. Natasha joined the University of Auckland in 2011, after teaching at the National University of Singapore for ten years and holding a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian National University. She will be discussing the BRI in Asia.

Associate Professor Damon Salesa (Pro Vice-Chancellor – Pacific @University of Auckland)

Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa is a prizewinning scholar who specializes in the study of colonialism, empire, government and race.  With a particular interest in the Pacific Islands, he also works on education, economics and development in the Pacific region, as well as in New Zealand and Australia.  After studying at the University of Auckland, he completed his studies at Oxford University.

He is currently Associate Professor of Pacific Studies at the Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland.  Previously he was Associate Professor of History, American Culture, and Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He will be discussing the BRI in the Pacific region.


Associate Professor Jason Young will be the moderator for this webinar. He is the Director of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre and Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington. He studied Chinese at Fu Jen University and Tunghai University in Taipei and Taichung and is a graduate of Otago University and Victoria University of Wellington. Jason’s research focuses on China’s domestic politics and foreign policy and New Zealand-China relations. He is author of China’s Hukou System (Palgrave 2013), the second edition of Politics in Pacific Asia (with Xiaoming Huang) and a number of journal articles and chapters in English and Chinese including articles in Pacific Review and Political Science. Jason is currently researching Chinese international relations writing on economic decoupling.