FROM CONFUCIUS TO ALIBABA

Understanding China's multi-faceted "soft power" and influence

21 November 2017 - 09:30 - 12:15
Joan Xu
Introduction

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.

Projects
Image

The Asia Programme, including the Europe-China Forum, looks at the political, economic and social facets of the 'Asian Century', Europe’s interaction with China and the region’s other fastest growing economies as well as Asia’s less developed countries.

Topics

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.

Programme
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

Tea break

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?
12.15

End of debate

Moderators
Shada Islam
Director Europe & Geopolitics
Shada Islam is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe’s initiatives, activities and publications. She has special responsibility for the Asia Programme and for the Development Policy Forum. Shada is the former Europe correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and has previously worked on Asian issues at the European Policy Centre. She is closely involved with initiatives to promote Asia-Europe exchanges including within the context of ASEM (Asia Europe Meetings). As a journalist, Shada also worked extensively on development questions including relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states as well as on world trade, including the Doha Round. Shada continues to write on EU foreign and security policy, EU-Asia relations and trade and development issues for leading Asian, European and international publications.
Speakers
Joan Xu
Screenwriter and a World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper
Joan is a Chinese-American screenwriter aiming to bridge the gap between Western and Chinese culture. Driven by a belief in the importance of popular culture in shaping societal values, she works on creating Chinese movies that can represent modern China to global audiences. Specialising on China-Hollywood co-productions, her works include a Chinese show, “The Circle,” and a feature film, “Dark Heavens.” After studying at Harvard University and the University of Chicago, she was part of the Global Shaper programme of the World Economic Forum and was a speaker at the 2016 Annual Meeting at Davos.
Partners

In association with 

Mission China

 

 

 

Registration
Clotilde Sipp, Programme Manager
Tel: +32 2 893 98 12
Email: clotilde.sipp@friendsofeurope.org

Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image.
Contact form
Do you have any questions about this event? Please contact us using the form below.
Moderator
Shada Islam
Director Europe & Geopolitics
Shada Islam is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe’s initiatives, activities and publications. She has special responsibility for the Asia Programme and for the Development Policy Forum. Shada is the former Europe correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and has previously worked on Asian issues at the European Policy Centre. She is closely involved with initiatives to promote Asia-Europe exchanges including within the context of ASEM (Asia Europe Meetings). As a journalist, Shada also worked extensively on development questions including relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states as well as on world trade, including the Doha Round. Shada continues to write on EU foreign and security policy, EU-Asia relations and trade and development issues for leading Asian, European and international publications.