It seems to me that the use of 'in' rather than 'of' is better in the sentence below but I am struggling to explain why.

It presents a change in China's role in the Middle East.


It presents a change of China's role in the Middle East.

  • To me, they are different in scope. A change in a role says that the role is basically the same, but some details have changed. A chane of a role says that the role has been replaced by a new role.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 8 '20 at 16:28

a change in something:


  • a change in the schedule
  • a change in the weather
  • a change in behavior
  • a change in China's role
  • a change in John's attitude
  • changes in behavior
  • changes in attitude

All of the above imply an existing thing in which a change occurs.


  • a change of heart
  • a change of scenery
  • a change of clothes
  • a change of guards

All the above imply that the nouns (heart, scenery, clothes) are replaced by another object of the same category.


It represents a change in China' role in the Middle East.

is idiomatic. If the repetition of "in" bothers you stylistically, you can try

It changes China's role in the Middle East.

If you are really talking about symbols, so "represents" is necessary, you can try

It represents China's changed role in the Middle East.

Edited to correspond to the edited question.

  • I apologize. I had written the two sentences incorrectly and have now changed them accordingly.
    – Tangaroa79
    Jul 8 '20 at 21:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.