On 2–3 September, SIPRI and the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) co-hosted a two-day webinar series on ‘EU–China Relations in an Era of Connectivity’.
The webinar series convened a group of 25 Chinese and European experts from academic, business, diplomatic and technical communities, and over 50 participants observed the discussions online. The aim of the series was to provide a nuanced understanding of the dynamic relationship between the European Union (EU) and China, as well as to explore the challenges and opportunities for better cooperation on connectivity.
The webinars included several panel discussions focused on the evolving balance of challenges and opportunities in EU–China relations; the implications of the pandemic caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the different approaches towards connectivity; transportation infrastructure investment in Central and Eastern Europe; and prospects for bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, as well as environmental issues that need to be addressed. The discussions also focused on the obstacles and opportunities in the digital domain, both in the private and public sectors.
The event concluded with a discussion on the complexity of EU–China relations and a dialogue on what measures should be taken to promote cooperation. The webinar series has highlighted the need for China to rethink its approach in connectivity.
About the project
This webinar series and a forthcoming report have been made possible with the support of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden. The first workshop in the series was held at SIPRI on 17–18 October 2019. SIPRI published the SIPRI Insights Paper on ‘EU Security Perspectives in an Era of Connectivity: Implications for Relations with China’ in February 2020. The final findings and project report will be available in March 2021.