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Sophie Wushuang Yi

PhD Candidate in the Lau China Institute, King's College London

Sophie Wushuang Yi is a PhD student in the Lau China Institute. Her research interests lie primarily in the area of strategic studies, international relations and military studies, in particular concentrating on contemporary China.

Prior to joining King's, she graduated with a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and reading MSc China in Comparative Perspectives. She also completed the Graduate Diploma in Economics at SOAS and BSc in International Politics Security Studies from the University of Sheffield.

Thesis title: 'The soft use of hard power: the strategic functions of the People's Liberation Army (PLA)'

Sophie's research interests are mainly on the strategic roles of the PLA, especially the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and its use of military operations other than war, as well as comparing Sino-Western military cultural and strategic thinkings. In summary, she's looking at how China projects its military power softly onto international ground/waters.

She is particularly interested in investigating why the PLA implements military operations other than war (MOOTW) and how it shapes the Chinese emerging role as a global security actor. In addition to this, she's interested in whether the implementation of MOOTW would degrade or upgrade the battle readiness of the Chinese armed forces, while actively participating in MOOTW, such as escort missions, United Nations-authorised peacekeeping operations, overseas evacuation operations, and anti-piracy operations.


  • 2020–2021
    Graduate Teaching Assistant , King's College London


  • 2018 
    London School of Economics and Political Science, Master of Science in China in Comparative Perspective
  • 2017 
    SOAS, University of London, Graduate Diploma in Economics
  • 2016 
    University of Sheffield, Bachelor of Science in International Politics and Security