The Eighth Session of Colloquium Series on Policy and Realities by CASS members was held at Liangxiang Campus on the afternoon of December 20th, 2019. Chaired by Prof. Wang Xinqing, Vice President of UCASS, the talk was delivered by Prof. Zhou Hong, CASS Memeber. As former Director of the Institute of European Studies, Prof. Zhou also serves as Director of the International Studies Division of CASS and chairs the Chinese Association for European Studies. All undergraduates of Fall 2019 were present to enjoy the food for thought on the theme of China-EU Relations: Past and Prospect.
Prof. Zhou’s presentation consisted of five components of China-EU relationship, exploring what it is; how it has evolved across various stages; how it is characterized by each side; how to understand it in a changing world; and what to expect in 2020 and beyond. Prof. Zhou started by defining China-EU relations from five angles: the long-standing ties between the two ancient civilizations, the complexity of the multilateral and bilateral nexuses, the evolving nature of the relationship, the shared consensus on “strategic partnership” and representative figures that best showcase the relationship. From there, Prof. Zhou walked the audience through four stages of the bilateral relationship, namely the Cold War period, the reform and opening-up period, the "honeymoon period" and the period in transition. She further looked into the “four-pronged partnership” proposed by President Xi on Chinese side and the “four-fold positioning” characterized by the EU side. Prof. Zhou highlighted the need to perceive this dynamic relationship in the context of a changing landscape, taking into account the EU Connectivity Strategy and the Belt and Road Initiative as part of the endeavors to break down barriers. She then concluded with a look into the future, sharing her reflections on the prospect of China-EU relations in the new era.
Prof. Zhou's thought-provoking talk has been a rewarding journey for the audience, allowing them to gain deeper insights into China-EU relations. It also provides the students with all the takeaways that prepare them to put the evolving trends of both China and the rest of the world into perspective. It is of great relevance as the students rediscover China and its international counterparts through comparison.