Staff profiles


Professor Christine Wong

Professor of Chinese Studies

Professor Christine Wong
Professor Christine Wong

Christine Wong is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining Melbourne, she was Professor and Director of Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford, where she was a Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall. She has also held the Henry M. Jackson Professorship in International Studies at the University of Washington, and taught economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz; University of California, Berkeley; and Mount Holyoke College.

Christine has also held senior staff positions in the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and worked extensively with other international agencies including the IMF, OECD, UNDP, UNICEF, and the UK Department for International Development. She is a member of the OECD Advisory Panel on Budgeting and Public Expenditures.

Christine has published widely on China's public finance, central-local relations and their implications for governance, economic development and welfare. Her recent research is focused on urbanisation and government financial management.

Christine Wong curriculum vitae Christine Wong selected publications


Dr Sarah Rogers

Lecturer in Contemporary Chinese Studies, Asia Institute

Dr Sarah Rogers
Dr Sarah Rogers

Dr Sarah Rogers joined the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies in 2016 as a Research Fellow. Sarah is a human geographer specialising in social and environmental change in rural China. Her research interests include hydropolitics, poverty alleviation, resettlement, and agrarian change. She is a Chief Investigator on ARC Discovery Project DP180100519 (2018-2020) examining the restructuring of China's agricultural sector, and is conducting research on poverty resettlement with a grant from the Ford Foundation. Sarah's research has been published in Nature, Global Environmental Change, and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.


Dr Xiao Han

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Xiao Han
Dr Xiao Han

Dr Xiao Han joined the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies as a Research Fellow in May 2018. Her research interests include the transformation of rural China, the Chinese 'go-out', the techno-politics of (water) infrastructure and the political economy of development. Currently as a team member, she is working on agrarian change in China for the Centre's ARC Discovery Project (DP180100519), which aims to examine (re)configurations of and the relations between land, labour, and capital in China's agricultural sector, as well as the environmental practices of different kinds of farms. Xiao completed her PhD in economic geography at the University of Melbourne. Informed by fieldwork in China and Ghana, and data collected from open sources, her doctoral thesis investigated the goals, practices and consequences of Chinese governments and corporations when building dams overseas. Xiao’s co-authored works has been published in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Journal of Cleaner Production, and Land Use Policy.


Dr Lei Yu

Research fellow

Dr Lei Yu
Dr Lei Yu

Dr Lei Yu joined the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies as a Research Fellow in May 2019. Her research interests include urbanisation and social policy, central-local relations, public finance and governance in contemporary China. Currently, she is conducting research on migrant housing challenges with a grant from the Ford Foundation, which aims to examine the policy and practices of China’s ‘new-type’ urbanisation, using a comparative approach to draw insights on policy impact and the distribution of benefits. Lei completed her PhD in social policy at the Asia Institute, the University of Melbourne. Drawing on extensive Chinese-language documentation analysis, local urban sets of statistics, and on-site research observation and interviews in five large cities across China, her doctoral thesis investigated the evolution of Chinese affordable housing policy and its effect on improving people’s housing welfare among different social groups.


Dr Xiao (Monica) Tan

Research Fellow

Dr Xiao (Monica) Tan
Dr Xiao (Monica) Tan

Dr Xiao (Monica) Tan joined the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies as a Research Fellow in January 2020. Her research interests include primary care system development, health policy and public finance, with a primary focus on China. Currently, she is conducting research on the obstacles and challenges of extending essential public health services to migrant workers, as part of a Ford Foundation project examining the inclusiveness of public services in urban China. She also holds another Research Fellow position at the School of Social and Political Sciences, working on an ARC Discovery Project DP180101217, which aims to identify the social and biological determinants of sleep and their links with health, family and economic policy recommendations. She completed her PhD at the Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne in 2019. Through analysis of fieldwork and secondary data, her doctoral thesis evaluates the Chinese government's role in strengthening the primary care system.


Professor Ling Zhu

Asia Scholar, Professor of Chinese Studies

Professor Ling Zhu
Professor Ling Zhu

Professor Ling Zhu has a visiting appointment as Faculty of Arts Asia Scholar at the University of Melbourne, and is based in the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies. Her main research interests are in economic development, especially rural development, poverty and social protection in China. Professor Zhu acquired her PhD in agro-economics from University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany, in 1988. She is a Member of the Academy and former Deputy Director of the Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing. She sits on several policy advisory committees of the State Council, including the Advisory Committee to the Leading Group for Poverty Reduction (since 2010) and the Theoretical Economics Group of the Academic Degrees Committee (2003-2013). She has also held advisory positions in international development agencies including as board member of UN University-WIDER, and was a member of the Board of Trustees for the International Food Policy Research Institute (2006-2012). Since 2013 she has authored or co-authored six books and numerous articles, including Food Security and Social Protection for the Rural Poor in China (Routledge, 2017), and Removing Obstacles for the Development of Farmers and Herders: Case Studies from the Eastern Tibetan Plateau (Social Sciences Academic Press, 2014).


Any enquiries related to the Centre or its activities can be directed to china-centre@unimelb.edu.au.