Conference “Distant Neighbours or Active Stakeholders? EU Policy Responses to Challenges in EU-China Relations”

Conference "Distant Neighbours or Active Stakeholders? EU Policy Responses to Challenges in EU-China Relations"

Date(s): 27/11/2015 - 28/11/2015
Time: 9:30 am - 6:00 pm

Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

Language: English

Admission: Free, registration required

(please see below)

Distant Neighbours or Active Stakeholders?
EU Policy Responses to Challenges in EU-China Relations


  • European Union Academic Programme Hong Kong (EUAPHK)
  • Department of Government and International Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • School of Modern Languages and Cultures, The University of Hong Kong

Supported by:

  • Kathleen Ferrier
  • European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao
  • Netherlands Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macao



Having celebrated forty years of diplomatic relations in 2015, the EU’s relationship with China faces a number of interrelated challenges. Taking place at the conclusion of the first year of the Juncker Commission, this conference seeks to bring together scholars and practitioners to examine and debate choices in key dimensions of the EU’s China policy: The objective is to connect recent research insights to policy-relevant debates. The conference will discuss crosscutting issues spanning a tour d’horizon of political and economic relations, human rights dialogue, and energy and environmental issues.

Which policy responses should transpire from recent Chinese initiatives with regional and global implications, including a new ‘silk route’ and the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB)? How can the EU increase the coherence of its policies vis-à-vis China? Which type of impact do shifting power balances and economic preoccupations exert on prospects and objectives of the EU-China Human Rights Diplomacy? Panels will also discuss prominent obstacles in specific areas of cooperation: Uncertainties over the increasing role of Chinese investments in Europe and enduring irritants in the Chinese investment climate for European companies raise the question of the next steps of EU-China commercial relations. Will the pending conclusion of a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) pave the way for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)? What will be the prospect for EU-China trade and economic relations following increasing tension in recent years, for example, the conflict over solar panels in 2013 and other cases? Finally, following the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation signed in 2013, the fields of energy, security and environment stand out as envisaged avenues of cooperation. How complementary is a European Energy Union with Chinese approaches to energy security on the road to the 2015 Paris UN climate change conference? What prospects will the EU-China Dialogue on Security and Defence (initiated in 2014) have in light of continuously diverging concepts of international order, the growing assertiveness of Chinese foreign and defence policies as well as the rising tensions in the South and the East China Seas? These are among the major questions in the Sino-European relationship to be addressed in the conference by a broad spectrum of experts and stakeholders.

Download Conference Agenda
 (updated 25Nov2015)

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