Asia as strategy: Deployments of a Chinese planet

Jerry Zee


This contribution reflects on Aihwa Ong’s thoughts on the global and her later work with Asian scientists to look at recent Chinese state approaches to climate change. Departing from popular accounts that pose China as either an engine of climate catastrophe or as a singular hope for its aversion, I argue that the planetary predicament that climate change raises has been taken up in Chinese politics as a strategic site to reimagine the Chinese Communist Party as a necessary component of the geopolitical and geophysical machinery of continued planetary existence. Rather than gathering difference into the universal scale that the planet has implied in environmentalist discourses, Ong’s work exhorts us to approach the strategic deployment of a Chinese mode of planetarity.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/712092