Spoke on BRI and China as a Global Actor at Senioruniversitetet Uppsala’s seminar serie on the Silk Roads and Japan – linkages between the East and the West [Sidenvägarna och Japan – länkar mellan öst och väst].
On 2-3 Sep 2020 I was attending a webinar on “EU–China Relations in an Era of Connectivity”, co-organized by SIPRI and the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS).
The purpose of the webinars is to explore the extent to which EU–China relations have been evolving and may evolve in an era of connectivity. In particular, the webinars will focus on understanding the economic, political and strategic rationales that underpin connectivity agendas both in China and the EU and will explore pathways for promoting mutual interests.
On 5 August I met with a delegation from the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD) visiting the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.
We discussed and exchanged views on, among others, China’s relations with Europe, Sweden and the Nordic countries as well as European security and Europe’s role as a security actor.
Just published: Special Issue in Asian Perspective on Power, Narratives, and the Role of Third Parties: Understanding Power (Shift) in East Asia with Mikael Weissmann and Mingjiang Li as guest editors.
Find the articles on https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/40440/print .
Introduction to the Special Issue [SUBMITTED COPY]
Mikael Weissmann, Mingjiang Li
Understanding Power (Shift) in East Asia: The Sino-US Narrative Battle about Leadership in the South China Sea [OPEN ACCESS]
DOI: 10.1353/apr.2019.0009 (Open Access)
China’s “Belt and Road” in Southeast Asia: Constructing the Strategic Narrative in Singapore
Alice D. Ba
China’s Economic Power in Asia: The Belt and Road Initiative and the Local Guangxi Government’s Role
Return to Geopolitics: The Changes in Japanese Strategic Narratives
The Relationship between Narratives and Security Practices: Pushing the Boundaries of Military Instruments in Japan
Petter Y. Lindgren, Wrenn Yennie Lindgren
Contending Narratives of the International Order: US/Chinese Discursive Power and Its Effects on the UK
My first podcast appearence: Sidenvägspodden avsnitt 5: Kinas militära ambitioner (in Swedish): https://poddtoppen.se/podcast/1364489792/the-ui-podcast/sidenvagspodden-avsnitt-5-kinas-militara-ambitioner
President Xi Jinping inledde 2019 med att beordra armén att förbereda sig för krig. Samtidigt säger Xi att Kina är ett fredligt framväxande land som inte är en fara för någon annan stat. Bör omvärlden vara orolig för Kinas militära ambitioner? Hur samarbetar Kina kring säkerhet med länderna längs sidenvägarna? Vilka är Sidenvägsinitiativets geostrategiska dimensioner? Vad betyder Kinas allt närmare samarbete med Ryssland?
I det femte avsnittet av Sidenvägspodden utforskas dessa och andra frågor tillsammans med Sofia Ledberg, biträdande lektor vid Försvarshögskolan, och Mikael Weissmann, seniorforskare vid UI och docent vid Försvarshögskolan.
Sidenvägspodden är UI:s nya poddserie om Kinas globala ambitioner. Den drivs i samarbete med Stockholm Observatory for Global China och Kinakännaren Ola Wong som är programledare. I sju avsnitt intervjuar Ola experter från olika discipliner och ämnesområden för att utforska Sidenvägsinitiativets dimensioner.
Sidenvägspodden är en del av ‘Global China Series’. Läs mer här: www.ui.se/english/research/asia/sogc/
This week I have been making a research visit to Beijing, China to have meeting with a number of Chinese experts at different universities and institutes to learn more about the Belt and Road Initiative and China’s foreign policy in the region and the world.
Now the official site of the Stockholm Belt and Road Observatory has been launched: https://www.ui.se/english/research/asia/SBRO
The Stockholm Belt and Road Observatory is an independent research network dedicated to questions arising in relation to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China’s growing global footprint.
Gathering expertise from several leading Swedish institutions, the observatory serves as a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing for actors in academia, government, civil society and the business sector.
The observatory was officially launched at a seminar on 4 June, 2018. The event included discussions about how the BRI is impacting Sweden and Europe, how the BRI relates to Chinese global leadership, and how to handle challenges emerging from the BRI.
Today I am co-authoring an op-ed in SvD Debatt , ”Sverige bör få EU att ställa tydliga krav på Kina”, on how Sweden ought to handle China’s global ambitions. We are arguing that there is a need for a common ground among Swedish actors and to develop a shared position within the European Union and not least to set clear requirements. This is of course not easy, but as China’s ambitions will remain a fact of life there is a need to adapt.
Today we held a seminar titled “Making Sense of China’s Belt and Road Initiative – What’s at Stake for Sweden and Europe?” marking the establishment of the Stockholm Belt and Road Observatory, a research network created to tackle questions arising in relation to BRI and China’s growing global footprint for which I am the head coordinator.
You can listen to the full seminar here:
FULL TEXT HERE
Over the last year, scholars, pundits, and policymakers interested in China have rhetorically asked whether US President Donald Trump will make President Xi Jinping’s China “great again.” There is now mounting evidence that the answer to that question is “yes.” Since his inauguration, there are a number of ways in which Trump has contributed to China’s rise, and Xi Jinping’s tightening grip on power.
To begin with as we, and others have suggested elsewhere, Trump is making China great again by withdrawing from global responsibilities so that space is left for Xi’s China to step into. Trump’s ‘America First’ policy has involved announcements of withdrawal from international responsibilities and agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), UNESCO, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and UN talks on migration. He has threatened to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal, a free-trade agreement with South Korea, and NAFTA.
At the same time, Xi’s China has pursued the opposite policy, investing in exactly the kinds of overseas initiatives that built America’s global influence, including foreign aid and investment, overseas security, and education. The ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ – China’s massive connectivity project and Xi’s flagship foreign policy – has fortuitously emerged in this newly opened space.
“Will Trump make China great again? The belt and road initiative and international order” – new article in Chatham House’s International Affairs with Astrid H. M. Nordin) – full text on https://doi.org/10.1093/ia/iix242
Summary of my report on Sweden’s approach to China’s Belt and Road Initiative published by Hong Kong Trade Development Council. See http://china-trade-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/The-Belt-and-Road-Initiative/Sweden-s-approach-to-China-s-Belt-and-Road-Initiative/obor/en/1/1X3CGF6L/1X0ACL54.htm
New paper on Sweden and the Belt and Road Initiative just out: Sweden’s approach to China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Still a glass half-empty (UI Paper, No.1 2017 with Elin Rappe).
In 2013 China’s President Xi Jinping launched the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative, later renamed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which involves China undertaking to make infrastructure investments worth billions of US dollars in the countries along the old Silk Road connecting China with Europe. While commonly seen as an infrastructure initiative aimed at strengthening the Chinese economy, it is also a political project with far-reaching strategic aims.
This UI Brief outlines how China has approached the BRI with Sweden, how Sweden has responded and the perceptions of major Swedish stakeholders. It finds that Swedish officials are often highly cautious, maintaining a wait-and see policy. While also cautious, members of the business community are cautiously optimistic and have been more actively following BRIrelated developments, seeking out avenues for potential business. The actual impact of BRI in Sweden, however, is so far very limited.
The Brief concludes that Sweden’s approach to BRI has been too reactive and too passive. It argues that both the government and the business community need to engage more actively with the BRI in order to maximize its possible benefits. To this end, a national strategy is needed that includes the government and the business sector. Better coordination is also needed between government agencies and to link existing intra-governmental cooperation with the business community. Their importance cannot be overemphasized as the BRI is a political project, not an idealistic free-market endeavour.
Today’s contribution sharing knowledge on the Belt and Road initiative – https://insights.nordea.com/b-r-bridging-divide-china-nordics .
You might also want to read my original article on the Swedish approach to the BRI/OBOR – http://fhs.diva-portal.org/…/g…/diva2:1067710/FULLTEXT01.pdf .