Ontological Security in China–Pacific Islands Countries (PICs) Geopolitics

Sophia Sui 1 and Lei Yu 2,*

1 Deakin University, Victoria 3217, Australia
2 Shandong University, Weihai 1264209, China


Abstract: The sufferings of “Old China” of being bullied and invaded by the colonial and imperialist powers in the “Chinese century of humiliation” and the experiences of the PRC of being militarily encircled and diplomatically isolated by the United States and its allies have constituted the basis of China’s ontological security. The article aims to explore China-PICs relationship from the perspectives of ontological security of China. It finds that this conception of ontological security results in China’s view of the existing hierarchical order dominated by the US-headed West as a threat to its security and prompts it to work together with other developing states to create a new international order that China deems more reasonable and fairer. The article concludes that China’s ontological security has posed a critical challenge to the hierarchical order in the South Pacific and the existing hierarchical relationship between the PICs and the former colonial powers that have to date kept the hierarchical relationship as the basis for their ontological security.

Keywords: ontological security; China–PICs relations; “equal” partnership; hierarchical order; new world order


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