Master of Arts in Contemporary China


Guest Lectures




How Neighboring Societies are Looking at the Rise of China?: A Socio-psychological Inquiry



Professor Shigeto SONODA



3 March 2018, Saturday



9.30am – 12.30pm



Seminar Room 906, level 9
NTU@One-North Campus Executive Centre
11 Slim Barracks Rise
Singapore 138664


Biodata of Speaker:Sonoda.jpg

Shigeto Sonoda is a professor of sociology and Asian studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), the University of Tokyo.) 

Prof. Sonoda has taken initiatives in conducting researches including AsiaBarometer 2003-2008, Asia Student Survey 2008-2014, Chinese Four-city Survey 1998-2014. His special interest is in social stratification and globalization of cultures in Asia, and localization process of Japanese company in Asian countries. His latest publications include: China Impact: Threat Perception in Asia-Pacific, University of Tokyo Press (co-editor, 2018 in Japanese), How to cope with “China Risk”: The Challenges of Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese Firms, University of Tokyo Press (co-editor, 2016 in Japanese), Linkage and Estrangement in East Asia, Keiso-Shobo (editor, 2015 in Japanese) A History of Japan-China Relations, 1972-2012 III and IV, University of Tokyo Press (editor, 2012 and 2014, in Japanese), Emerging Middle Classes in East Asia, Keisho-shobo (editor, 2012, in Japanese), Social Inequality in Contemporary China, Chuo Koron (2008, in Japanese, awarded Special Prize of 20th Asia-Pacific Award).

Prof. Sonoda has taken initiative to launch several university-level joint summer/winter programs with East Asian partners including Seoul National University, Peking University, National Taiwan University and the University of Hong Kong. For more information, see

Lecture Abstract:(Contributed by Woo Hui Wen, MPA student)

The rise of China has been discussed for more than a decade from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. Some research institutes like Pew Research Center in US have been conducting surveys on how people in the world have been understanding and evaluating the rise of China, but it is rarely discussed why people in different countries, especially in neighboring societies in Asia, are evaluating the rise of China positively or negatively. Considering complexity of the process of image creation, it is understandable that few scholarly works addressed causality of evaluation toward the rise of China, but it is a pity that the rise of China has been rarely addressed from socio-psychological approaches to explore how Asian societies are evaluating the rise of China and why they are doing so.

In this talk, the speaker will introduce two research projects on the rise of China (one is called “Asian Student Survey Second Wave” in 2013 and the other is called “Beyond ‘China Threat’ Paradigm” in 2014-16) initiated by the speaker and their main findings so that we can discuss this issue from empirical and comparative perspectives.

The former project is an extensive survey project targeted undergraduate students in 18 flagship universities in 9 Asian societies (China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore). Survey results reveal different evaluations toward different dimensions of the rise of China, which makes it necessary for us to look into the local conditions as well as international environments when it comes to the perception toward the rise of China.

The latter project is an international collaboration among China experts in Asia-Pacific (Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia) who contributed a country paper on historical analysis of the (changing) perception regarding China threat. Accumulation of the findings at national level makes it possible to identify four factors that might be shaping the image of China in different countries.