Starting off as a potentially breakthrough year for EU-China relations, 2020 quickly recast itself as the beginning of an age of uncertainty. As both have begun to reassess priorities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, questions have arisen surrounding the future of this relationship. But building a post-pandemic world that transcends the one that came before will require a global joint effort. To succeed, China and Europe will have to find ways to work together despite differences.
As the Europe-China Dialogue celebrates its 10th anniversary, Friends of Europe is taking the debate online. From 30 November to 1 December, policymakers, business representatives and leading academics from across Europe and China will log-on to discuss issues such as: ensuring a sustainable post-pandemic recovery, trade, and technological innovation.
- Strategic Conversations with Zhang Ming and Gunnar Wiegand
- “The green transition: views from East and West” by Charlotte Roule and Wang Yao
- Event report “Europe-China: convergence, divergence and the vital space between”
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For better or worse, 2020 is a year that will go down in history. But there is still time to define how it will be remembered – as only a year to mourn, or as the year that important first steps were taken towards global transformation. China and the EU are both hard at work to ensure the latter. Europe’s ‘Next Generation EU’ recovery plan commits the bloc to using the Green Deal as its growth strategy. Meanwhile China is moving forward with its ‘New Infrastructure’ plan, which will prioritise clean energy and renewables to turn recovery into opportunity. But lasting transformation will require a global effort. To achieve it, both will also have to face up to economic realities and avoid the temptation of protectionism and closing off markets.
- What are China and the EU doing to ensure that the post-pandemic recovery is green and sustainable, while leaving no one behind?
- What is the state of play on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) – will China and the EU be able to conclude negotiations by the end of the year?
- Can the EU and China use this moment to initiate real reform in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
CEO of Development Reimagined (DR)
Director General of the Central University of Finance and Economics’ International Institute of Green Finance
Senior Partner at McKinsey & Co. and Director of the McKinsey Global Institute
Vice-President and China Chief Representative at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Environment Team Leader at the World Trade Organization (WTO)
With many daily interactions now forced into the cybersphere, the pandemic has quickened the pace of the digital transition and opened new doors for technological innovation. Contact tracing technology was quickly adopted in China, which is now adapting the concept of a Digital Silk Road to current realities. The EU plans to deepen its investment into digital connectivity as part of its recovery and growth strategy, including further development of 5G networks. But this fresh wave of innovation has also created a more urgent imperative to address associated data and privacy concerns – as well as those related to cyber-security and critical digital infrastructure.
- How can China and the EU engage each other better to advance technological innovation, while still looking after their own strategic interests?
- Which digital innovations will become relics of the ‘age of coronavirus’ and which are here to stay?
- How might China’s new Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) reshape the future of currency?
Editor at Deutsche Welle Business
Dr. Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova
Head of the Political Science PhD programme and the China Studies Centre at Riga Stradins University
Professor of Chinese Law and the Director of the Erasmus China Law Centre at the Erasmus School of Law
Chairman of Wonderful Group
Secretary General of Telematics Industry Application Alliance (TIAA)
Dr Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova is a political scientist and China scholar. In addition to her work at Riga Stradins University, she heads the Asia programme at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs. Bērziņa-Čerenkova is a member of the China in Europe Research Network (CHERN) and European Think Tank Network on China (ETNC). Having defended her doctoral dissertation on traditional Chinese discourse, she has held visiting research scholar positions at the Fudan University School of Philosophy and the Center for East Asia Studies at Stanford University. Bērziņa-Čerenkova is currently a European China Policy Fellow at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) and an affiliate of the Lau Institute at King’s College London. She frequently publishes on Chinese political discourse, contemporary Chinese ideology, EU-China and Russia-China relations, and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Chiponda Chimbelu is a Zambian-American journalist based in Berlin. He mainly works for Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster, where he sometimes produces the network’s business news show and writes about Chinese investment in Africa and EU-Africa relations. His research and work focus on understanding how geopolitics and globalisation affect the interests of various foreign actors on the African continent.
Pang Chunlin is an expert on self-driving vehicles, AI and telecommunications. He is the deputy chairman of the Artificial Intelligence Branch of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Machinery and holds leadership roles in agriculture committees and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Pang has led numerous projects by the Chinese government on intelligent agricultural technology, automatic driving and commercial vehicle safety. He is a guest professor at several Chinese universities.
Zhang Gangfu established the Wonderful Science and Development Group in 2013 as a large-scale joint-stock company integrating many industries. His organisation mainly engages in non-governmental public diplomatic services, international production cooperation, the design and implementation of the Sino-Foreign Double-Park Scheme, environmental governance technology development and the production and sales of air infection control equipment. His company recently launched an industrial park with the Italian government in Tianjin, China, and is now looking to do the same with the Greek government.
Yuwen Li has a long-established expertise in Chinese law. Her most recent research covers Chinese foreign investment law, international investment law, and the EU-China trade and investment policy and treaty practice. One of her newly edited books is entitled “China, The EU and International Investment Law: Reforming Investor-State Dispute Settlement”.
In her current position, Hannah Ryder leads DR, an independent, international development consultancy that works with clients to develop innovative solutions to challenging poverty and environmental issues. The former diplomat and economist was recently named one of the 100 most influential Africans. Ryder is also a Senior Associate for the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), sits on the Board of the Environmental Defence Fund, and serves on the United Arab Emirates’ International Advisory Council on the New Economy. Previously, Ryder has also led the United Nations Development Programme’s work with China.
Ludivine Tamiotti is a specialist in international trade law, economic policy and human rights. In her current position at the WTO, she supervises the regular and negotiating committees on trade and environment, and provides legal advice. Tamiotti also conducts research and publishes widely; she teaches classes on the same topics at the universities of Bern, Barcelona and Geneva. Prior to this, Tamiotti worked at the United Nations International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Wang Yao is a distinguished academic and expert in green finance. In addition to leading the International Institute of Green Finance, she serves as Deputy Secretary-General of the China Society for Finance and Banking’s Green Finance Committee, Secretary-General of the Securities Association of China’s Green Securities Committee, and Fellow at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. She also advises and consults for the University of Oxford and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. In 2019, Wang was lauded by the Asiamoney China Green Finance Awards for her outstanding contribution to the development of green finance in China.
Based in China for over 30 years, Jonathan Woetzel leads the McKinsey Global Institute’s research on China, Asia, global economics and business trends. In this capacity, he also heads the Cities Special Initiative and co-chairs the non-profit think tank Urban China Initiative, which aims to develop and implement solutions to China’s urbanisation challenge. As an expert on energy, sustainability, and economic master planning, he has conducted more than 60 projects for local governments throughout China to support economic development and transformation. Woetzel has written five books on China including Capitalist China: strategies for a revolutionised economy.
Zhang Jianyu helped found the China programme of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a leading US environmental NGO. An expert on environmental and public policies, Zhang is known for his leadership and contribution to the establishment of China’s Carbon Trading System, the largest of its kind in the world. He serves on several advisory boards, including the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) and the China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Center. He is also a special advisor for the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED).
- By Chris Kremidas Courtney
- By Chris Foulds & Rosie Robison
- Eye on the Geopolitical Ball
- Area of Expertise
- Peace, Security & Defence
- By Evan Da Costa Marques
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