Dr Heidi Wang- Kaeding’s new book China's Environmental Foreign Relations provides the theme for our meeting. Over recent decades, China has moved from being a follower towards taking on a leadership role in global environmental governance. She has examined the key role of Chinese interest groups on issues such as climate change and the environment and the idea of China as an "ecological civilisation" which may surprise many who are concerned about the impact of China’s continuing industrialisation.

Heidi joined Keele University in September 2019 and is Director of International Governance and Public Policy. Previously, she was Assistant Professor in Asian Politics at Trinity College Dublin, and obtained her PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2017. Her research focuses on three substantial themes: global environmental governance; economic statecraft in East Asia; and the role of emotions in international politics. Dr Wang-Kaeding has presented research at academic conferences in thirteen countries and has been invited to give talks to a variety of audiences, including the European Parliament and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

She is also co-founder of Hong Kong Studies Association.