Ahead of the 2018 EU-China Year for Tourism, the conference will look at China’s growing soft power and global influence, expanding EU-China cultural ties and people-to-people relations. Its first panel will discuss the role of tourism in promoting cultural understanding, while the second will focus on China and Europe’s soft power, including the global rise of China’s creative and innovative industries and EU-China cultural cooperation.
This event, in keeping with Friends of Europe’s past conferences and publications on China and EU-China relations, will seek to provide fresh ideas and views on China and Europe’s cultural influence worldwide and on how to go beyond prevailing cultural stereotypes and misperceptions.
Europe’s relationship with Asia and Africa is expanding, reflecting the increasing global importance of emerging economies. We track these developments through our Asia Programme and Europe-China Forum, and through our work looking at the EU vision and strategy towards China, India, Japan and ASEAN, and its role in the Asia-Europe Meeting.
09.00 - 09.30
Welcome coffee and registration of participants
09.30 - 10.45
SESSION I: EU-CHINA YEAR OF TOURISM
Pathway to building stronger China-EU cultural understanding
Tourism is a major global economic activity with wide-ranging impact on economic growth, employment, and social development. Currently ranked fourth in the world as a tourist destination, China recognises the importance of tourism in encouraging greater cultural understanding and enhancing its international image. The upcoming EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY) in 2018 provides a unique opportunity to increase visitors' flows and investments on both sides, as well as for European and Chinese citizens to building mutual trust and confidence, contributing to the objectives of the 'EU-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue'.
- What opportunities does the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year create for boosting both regions’ travel sector and promoting cultural understanding? Which areas of cooperation should the ECTY focus on?
- What can be done to create synergies between the Tourism Year and EU’s own Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018?
- Have public perceptions of China in Europe and vice versa evolved over the last decade and how can better understanding between the two sides be fostered?
- What progress has been made so far in encouraging more people-to-people contact between China and Europe, particularly among young people?
10.45 - 11.15
11.15 - 12.15
SESSION II: CHINA, EUROPE AND SOFT POWER
China’s increasing prominence as a key global economic and political player has been accompanied by the breath-taking rise of Chinese soft power. Chinese policymakers are promoting the country’s rich cultural heritage and enhancing international exchanges, most prominently through the creation of more than 500 Confucius Institutes in 140 countries. China’s creative and cultural industry is thriving in response to the demands of a growing and increasingly affluent global middle class and Chinese fashion and films are capturing international attention. Europe’s soft power is also recognised as an important part of its increased public diplomacy efforts.
- What lessons can China draw from Europe’s experience and vice versa?
- In a time of increasing cuts of culture budgets in Europe, what can the region learn from China’s focus on culture as a central driver for development?
- Should cultural industries form the basis for strengthening EU-China relations?
End of debate
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