The 6th Global China Dialogue (GCD VI), with the theme “Governance for World Peace", was held successfully at the British Academy on the 6th December 2019, at the British Academy, London, UK. It was co-sponsored by the Global China Institute, the University of London College's Applied Linguistics Centre and the University of Westminster's China Media Centre. Nearly 30 scholars, experts, professionals and practitioners, as well as officials and government representatives, from China, Jordan, Nigeria, France, Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom, spoke at the forum, the overarching theme of which was "Governance for World Peace". In addition to the keynote speeches and closing remarks, the forum featured four Panels: Mediation and peace-making in civil conflicts, Belt and Road and tension reduction between countries and cultures, China's role in multilateral peacekeeping, Civilizational values and the promotion of peace. The forum attracted nearly a hundred participants overall. This event was supported by many academic institutions as well as China related organizations and the Chinese Embassy in the UK.
The opening session was chaired by Professor Martin Albrow FAcSS, Honorary Vice-President of the British Sociological Association, UK and Honorary President of the Global China Institute.
Minister Ma Hui, Chinese Embassy to the United Kingdom, addressed the forum first. He said that the socialist system with Chinese characteristics is not only a fundamental guarantee for the development and progress of contemporary China, but also a treasure trove of governance ideas for mankind. China will actively participate in global governance and strive continuously to build a community of human destiny. Today, instability and uncertainty are increasing, regional conflicts and local wars afflict millions, terrorism is still rampant and security threats such as climate change, cyber attacks and the refugee crisis have worldwide repercussions. Facing the question where the world is heading and the many challenges we all face, China proposes to work towards a shared future for mankind and build a world of lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness, tolerance, cleanliness and beauty. This is China's wisdom and plan for global governance. China is also willing to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with the international community, including the United Kingdom, and contribute wisdom and strength to building a community with a better future for all.
Professor Lord Anthony Giddens, a well-known British thinker and former Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), observed in his speech that the digital revolution, geopolitics and populism are changing our lives totally. He also pointed out China's foremost political position in the “Asian century”. This forum emphasized the international environment of cooperation that was required for reform based on resolving long-term conflicts, and invited Chinese as well as Western scholars to have a meaningful discussion on this.
"We are in the midst of a major historical transition," said Professor Mary Kaldor CBE, Director of the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit, Department of International Development, LSE, in her keynote speech entitled “The case for human security”. "Not only from industry to information, from fossil fuels to the green economy, but also from the State and Empire system to a layered system of global governance. In order to establish a new global governance system, we need to transition to another type of security: human security."
Professor Xie Lizhong, Director of the Centre for Social Theory Studies, Peking University; former Vice-President of the Chinese Sociological Association; Chinese President of the Global China Institute, gave a keynote speech entitled "Community of shared future for mankind: the road towards world peace". He pointed out that, since the birth of humankind, people have been faced with various contradictions and conflicts caused by ideas or interests; war has always been one of the important means by which people seek to resolve these contradictions and conflicts. In today's era of global economic integration, many local wars in certain regions have global consequences. "The establishment of world peace should be the goal of action that peoples of all countries must pursue in our time, and the best way is to build a shared community of human destiny."
Certificate of appointment
Afterwards, Professor Giddens presented the letter of appointment as Chinese President of the Global China Institute to Professor Xie Lizhong, from Peking University.
Part of the speakers and participants at the GCD VI Dialgure
Panel I Mediation and peace-making in civil conflicts was chaired and moderated by Dr Hakan Seckinelgin, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Policy, LSE (pictured right). The speakers were (from right to left) Dr Iavor Rangelov, Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit in the Department of International Development, LSE (“Peace making and justice-seeking: competing or complementary goals?”); Professor LI Junfu, Deputy Head of the Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, Beijing University of Technology, China; Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford (“Society building: peace making with Chinese characteristics”); Dr Yan Wu, Associate Professor in Political Science in the Department of Political and Cultural Studies, Swansea University (“How the dominance of guanxi on WeChat inhibits and constrains China’s contentious politics”); Dr Olaf Corry, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark (“Civic protests and the risks of declaring something a ‘security’ issue”).
Panel II Belt and Road and tension reduction between countries and cultures was chaired by Mrs Patricia Walker Allmond, a UK-based Non-Executive President of the International Association of Cultural and Creative Industries (IACCI). A number of scheduled speakers could not be present, and their place was taken in some cases by others. Dr Nathan W. Hill, Senior Lecturer, former Head of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, SOAS, University of London, was unavoidably absent. Professor Guo Dan, former Director of Institute of Political Science, Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences; Deputy General Secretary, Chinese Association of Political Science, China, was granted a visa too late to be present, and his former graduate student and now a doctoral student of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Ms Chen Lanxin (second from right), delivered the presentation on his behalf (“Visions and challenges: the Belt and Road Initiative’s influence on countries along the southwestern boundaries and Taiwan”). Mr Harish Kohli, Founder of the Asian Geographic Trust and Founder and CEO of Awimaway.com; author of Across the Frozen Himalaya, had been called away to India at short notice and was replaced by Mrs Ingrid Cranfield (third from right), Deputy Director of the Global China Institute (“Saving the Hindu Kush-Himalayas”). Professor Xu Baofeng (third from left), School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU), Project Director of “Chinese Culture and Translation Studies Support Network” (CCTSS), BLCU, China, posed the question "Can Confucian ethics help in the elimination of global unilateralism, extremism and terrorism, based on a comparison between countries and regions with and without influence from Confucian ethics?". Dr Martin Mills, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Aberdeen; Chairman of Aberdeen Chinese Studies Group; Director of the Scottish Centre for Himalayan Research spoke on “One Belt, One Road, one (warming) world: climate change knowledge and the future of long-distance infrastructure developments”). On the far left of the photo is Dr Li Boyi, a Lecturer in Management at the University of Exeter, UK, who was invited to comment on this panel.
Panel III China's role in multilateral peacekeeping was chaired and moderated by Professor Peter Schröder, Department of History and UCL European & International Social & Political Studies, University College London. The speakers (from right to left) were: Professor Hanns Maull, Senior Distinguished Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Germany (“China to the rescue? Its role in international peacekeeping and peace-making”); Dr Hassan Abdullah Al-Dajah, Associate Professor, Department of Media and Strategic Studies, Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, Jordan (“China's role in maintaining world peacekeeping and stability”); Ms Sophie Wushuang Yi, PhD student, The Lau China Institute, King’s College London (“China as a realist pacificist: the strategic role of the People’s Liberation Army in the context of China’s militarization and peaceful rise strategy from 2001 to 2019”); and Yi Wushuang's PhD supervisor, Dr Alessio Patalano, Reader, Director of the Asian Security & Warfare Research Group, Department of War Studies, King’s College London (“Protecting overseas rights and interests: the changing face of Chinese participation in multilateral operations at sea”).
Panel IV Civilizational values and the promotion of peace was chaired and moderated by Professor Hanns Maull, Senior Distinguished Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs. The speakers were Professor Peter Schröder, Department of History and UCL European & International Social & Political Studies, University College London (“The other as hope, fear, challenge or opportunity: images of China in early modern perceptions”); Dr Qing Cao, Associate Professor, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Durham University, UK (“Traditional Chinese culture and its contemporary relevance for the maintenance and achievement of peace”); Dr Huan Pingqing, Associate Professor in Sociology, School of Sociology and Population Studies, Renmin University of China (“Confucius' thought on ethnic relations and its significance to world peace”); Professor Xiangqun Chang, President of Global China Institute; Honorary Professor of University College London (“Fei Xiaotong’s perspectives of civilization and peace: based on corpus of Fei Xiaotong’s complete works”); and Dr Joël Ruet, Chairman, The Bridge Tank, France (“Chinese perspectives on ecological civilization and relevance in sustainability for peace”).
Professor ZHAO Kejin, Deputy Dean of School of Social Sciences; Deputy Dean of the Institute for Global Common Development, Tsinghua University, China, gave a closing speech entitled "China’s approach to global peace: an exploration of the Communist Party of China". Professor Martin Jacques, Senior Fellow at the Department of Politics and International, University of Cambridge, UK; Visiting Professor at Fudan University, China, spoke on "What will China be like as a great power?: causes for optimism”.
Here are some participants and interactions at the questions and answers from GCD participants arising from the speeches:
The evening Reception was held in the Churchill Room at the House of Commons, in the UK Parliament.
Dame Sue Owen DCB, former Deputy Minister for Culture, Media and Sports, gave a welcome speech. She affirmed China's courage in shouldering its responsibility to maintain world peace and stability, and believed that China should seek peaceful and mutually beneficial relations with other countries around the world, so that its progress would march in step with world development. She also emphasized the fight for gender equality to enhance women's role and status in governance.
Yu Hongjun, Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD); Senior Specialist, Academy of Contemporary World and China Studies; Senior Adviser to the Beijing Belt & Road Cooperative Community (BRCC); former Vice-Minister of the International Liaison Department of the CPC, China, joined the Reception by a recorded video, in which he said that: “This year is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The development of New China’s diplomatic affairs has been magnificent in the last 70 years, and China’s relations with the outside world have become increasingly close. China's international power has undergone substantial changes, and China’s roles in international and regional affairs have greatly impressed the world. China will consistently adhere to and implement the independent foreign policies and principles of peace that are New China’s unchanging basic position and appeal in handling international affairs and developing foreign relations.” He also stressed that China, as a huge country, is profoundly aware of its duties and responsibilities.
Professor Hugo de Burgh, Director of China Media Centre, University of Westminster, UK, chaired the Reception. He paid tribute to the tireless and wholehearted work of Professor Xiangqun Chang in organizing the GCD series and to her splendid reputation as a scholar and academic. He also mentioned that the 7th Global China Dialogue, the last in the series, will take place in China in 2020.
Professor LI Wei, FAcSS, FRSA Director of Centre for Applied Linguistics, University College London, pointed out that “one of the claims applied linguists often make is that society is ‘talked into being’. Through dialogue, social relations are established. And it is through dialogue that we can begin to understand potential differences in values, traditions and ideologies. Understanding, rather than agreement, is the goal of dialogues As Confucius said, ‘gentlemen seek understanding; petty men seek agreement’. The Global China Dialogue is a great initiative that has brought together people of different disciplines, professions and cultures. It is a great forum for people to share their views, clearly different, but equally valid and significant. The aim is to achieve better understandings so that we can all work together towards a common human destiny.”
Finally, Professor Xiangqun Chang, President of Global China Institute; Honorary Professor of University College London, pointed out the uniqueness of the Global China Dialogue series. The fact that it was conducted in Chinese and English bilingually helped all to a better understanding of the various issues raised. She also expressed her warmest thanks and deepest gratitude to all the organizers, members of the Organizing Committee, supporters, sponsors, speakers, chairs, discussants, participants and volunteers, without whom the Global China Dialogue series would not even be possible. She hoped that everyone would look out for the publication of the 6th Global China Dialogue proceedings, which it was hoped would have wide-ranging influence and continue to play a role in promoting global social governance.
Part of the speakers and participants at the GCD VI Reception
Global Century Press, a subsidiary of the Global China Institute, displayed some of its publications at the forum
Conversations during registration, coffee breaks and lunch
The end of the Dialogue
At the Reception
The Dialogue would be impossible to organize without the hard work and dedication of the volunteers
Before anf after the GCD VI
1. Xinhua News Agent： http://www.xinhuanet.com/world/2019-12/07/c_1125318302.htm
2. CNCnews (video) http://www.cncnews.cn/new/detail/137517.jhtml
5. Oversea Chinese http://www.chinaqw.com/ydylpc/2019/12-09/239156.shtml
10. UVIC Group https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/t4BIqFpdWKgOpr00xhsvGg
11. Global China Dialogue website
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