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Yun Sun

Yun Sun is director of the China program and co-director of the East Asia program at the Stimson Center in Washington, DC. Her expertise is in Chinese foreign policy, US-China relations and China’s relations with neighboring countries and authoritarian regimes.
From 2011 to 2014, she was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, jointly appointed by the foreign policy program and the global development program, where she focused on Chinese national security decision-making processes and China-Africa relations. From 2008 to 2011, Sun was based in Beijing as the China analyst for the International Crisis Group, specializing in China's foreign policy toward conflict countries and the developing world. Prior to ICG, she worked on US-Asia relations in Washington, DC for five years.

Articles By Yun Sun

Afghanistan Offers China an Opportunity to Prove Itself By Yun Sun - May 19, 2022

South Asia specialists in China have been engaging their foreign counterparts to advance Beijing’s position in an unlikely place: Afghanistan. In March, China convened four private dialogues and one international closed-door conference intended to pave the way for China’s activities in the country. What does China want in Afghanistan? And what concessions are China’s leaders willing to make to accomplish their goals? Many in China see Afghanistan as … Continue reading “Afghanistan Offers China an Opportunity to Prove Itself”

War in Ukraine Realigns Positions Between China and the Middle East By Yun Sun - May 6, 2022

As the war in Ukraine enters its third month, more convergence has emerged  between China and key states in the Middle East. Motivated by a shared frustration with the United States, China and its Middle East partners have found themselves on the same side more often than not regarding the conflict. Evidence of this alignment is found in the voting records of three recent UN resolutions. On February 26, … Continue reading “War in Ukraine Realigns Positions Between China and the Middle East”

A New Lease on Life for China-India Relations? By Yun Sun - Apr 9, 2022

With the world focused on the war in Ukraine, China has been busy engaging in diplomacy with neighboring countries, especially in South Asia. During the last 10 days of March, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Nepal; attended the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; and hosted a series … Continue reading “A New Lease on Life for China-India Relations?”

Retrenchment from Africa Has China Eyeing the Middle East By Yun Sun - Feb 3, 2022

China’s announcement late last year that it will scale back the money it lends to Africa, from $60 billion to $40 billion over the next three years, has raised questions about Beijing’s long-term strategy on the continent. But it has also opened another line of inquiry: If Chinese infrastructure investment is leaving Africa, where is that money going? The Middle East could be part … Continue reading “Retrenchment from Africa Has China Eyeing the Middle East”

Despite Climate Pressure, China Needs Middle East Oil To Wean Itself Off Coal By Yun Sun - Nov 12, 2021

China’s absence from the COP26 climate summit has drawn criticism from all corners. Given Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s lack of foreign travel since January 2020, his Glasgow no-show did not come as a surprise. China has already committed to achieving peak emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, so perhaps Beijing thought it had … Continue reading “Despite Climate Pressure, China Needs Middle East Oil To Wean Itself Off Coal”