The 7th EU-China Forum ‘EU-China cooperation in an age of uncertainty” will look at the future directions of EU-China relations in an age of increased uncertainties. Friends of Europe’s annual EU-China Forum brings together a unique mix of high-level speakers from Europe and China for an in-depth discussion on the different aspects of this multi-faceted relationship and is attended by policymakers, business representatives and leading academics from across Europe and China to discuss issues of shared interest and address pressing common challenges. Related content:
- Event summary
- Friends of Europe: China’s Belt and Road blueprint augurs changed global order
- Europe's World: Can the EU and China act together?
- Welcome message from H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi, Ambassador and Head of Mission of China to the EU
- Message from H.E. Ambassador Hans-Dietmar Schweisgut, Ambassador of the European Union to the People's Republic of China
- Message from Chi Fulin, President of the China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD)
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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 and registration of participants
09.30 - 11.00
SESSION I: THE BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE
Following the successful high-level Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing in May, the world is waiting and watching for the next steps in implementing China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The visionary blueprint for deeper connectivity across vast swathes of Europe and Asia has important implications for the two regions’ governments, businesses and people. Better and faster transport connections will mean an increase in trade and investment flows while the building of soft and hard digital infrastructure will speed up communications, financial cooperation and exchanges between people. The regional cooperation and security implications of the initiative are significant but still largely unexplored. The BRI also offers economic opportunities to the European Union as well as possible avenues for further economic and security cooperation with China and other states along the Belt.
- What are the key takeaways of the Belt and Road Forum and how will they be implemented?
- How successful is China in translating the Belt and Road vision into real projects and which projects and schemes are already operational or will become so in the near future?
- What are the key aims of the initiative and to what extent do they reflect the objectives of regional powers across the network?
- Beyond direct economic engagement, could BRI become an entry point for deeper cooperation between the EU and China on a range of issues related to global and regional governance?
Welcome message by:
Yang Yanyi, Ambassador and Head of Mission of China to the EU
Chi Fulin, President of the China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD)
Pino Musolino, President of the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority, Italy
Andrejs Pildegovičs, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Latvia
Hans-Jörg Schmidt-Trenz, Representative and Counsellor of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Germany
Zhang Ying, Professor and Associate Dean of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Zhao Jinping, Director-General of the Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations at the Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC), China
Message contribution by:
Hans-Dietmar Schweisgut, Ambassador of the European Union to the People’s Republic of China
11.00 - 11.30
11.30 - 13.00
SESSION II: SHAPING A NEW WORLD ORDER
As illustrated by the 19th EU-China summit, from the Brexit referendum to the arrival of US President Donald Trump, geopolitical changes are having an important impact on both Europe and China and on EU-China relations. The new US President’s tough stance on trade, including the decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has injected increased uncertainty into an already fragile global trade landscape. Significantly, China and the EU have responded with a robust defence of free trade. President Xi Jinping has underlined that “no one will emerge as a winner in a trade war”. The EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has echoed similar concerns, saying that “if others around the world want to use trade as a weapon, I want to use it as a tonic, a vital ingredient for prosperity and progress.” In addition, following the US’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, EU and Chinese leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to implement the agreement and, as major energy consumers and importers, highlighting the importance of fostering cooperation in their energy policies.
- Since they share many concerns as regards the policies of the new US Administration, can China and the EU work together on issues like world trade liberalisation?
- How can China and the EU really make a difference on issues related to climate change and other global governance challenges?
- What are the chances that the EU and China will start discussions on a bilateral FTA and what are the pros and cons of such an agreement? What structural contradictions need to be tackled and how?
- How close are the EU and China to concluding a Bilateral Investment Treaty and will such a deal ease European concerns about the rise in Chinese investments in Europe?
- Will Brexit be a boost or a road bump in EU-China relations?
- How are Millennials grappling with the world’s growing uncertainties and how can they be mobilised to drive social progress?
Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade
Cao Yuanzheng, Former Chief Economist of the Bank of China and Chairman of BOCI Research
Eric Fish, author of “China’s Millennials: the want generation”
Liu Miao, Chairman of Luzhou Laojiao
Meng Hong, Professor at Renmin University of China
Masami Nakata, Assistant Secretary-General of the Energy Charter Secretariat
Juan Prat y Coll, Special Advisor for International Affairs at Fipra and former European Commission Director-General for External Relations
Tel: +32 2 893 98 12
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