April 27, 2021

The blue economy is a globally emerging concept for ocean governance that seeks to tap the economic potential of the oceans in environmentally sustainable ways. Yet, understanding and implementation of particular visions of the blue economy in specific regions diverge according to national and other contexts. Drawing on a discourse analysis of Chinese language documents, this article assesses how the blue economy has been conceptualised in Chinese state policy and discourse. Part of a state ideology and practice of modernisation that is defined in terms of rejuvenation under a strong state, the blue economy in China is seen as an opportunity to promote modernisation from overlapping economic, geopolitical and ecological perspectives and actions. China’s distinctive model for the blue economy presents emerging challenges for global ocean governance.

First Published April 22, 2021

https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1070496521995872   -   https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1070496521995872


Tabitha Grace Mallory

Tabitha Grace Mallory is an affiliate faculty member of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and specializes in Chinese foreign and environmental policy. She is currently conducting research on China and global ocean governance and has published work on China’s fisheries and oceans policy. Dr. Mallory is CEO of the consulting firm China Ocean Institute and has consulted for organizations such as the United Nations Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, the World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She previously served as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program, and has also worked for The National Bureau of Asian Research and for the U.S. government. Dr. Mallory holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) and an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a certificate from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, and a B.A. in international studies and Mandarin Chinese from the University of Washington. She serves on the board of directors of the China Club of Seattle, and is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the Washington State China Relations Council.