3rd International Forum on the “New Silk Road” and Sino-European Cooperation Held in Duis-burg

[Source]    Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr in Duisburg, Germany [Time]    2017-11-21 17:49:16 

On November 8, local time, the 3rd International Forum on the “New Silk Road” and Sino-European Cooperation kicked off in Duisburg, Germany. This forum was organized by China Center for Contemporary World Studies, Fudan Development Institute of Fudan University, Institute of East Asian Studies IN-EAST of University of Duisburg-Essen, and Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr, attracting over 200 experts, scholars, entrepreneurs and college students all over the world.

Herbert Jakoby, Head of Foreign Trade Department at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and Tian Qiru, Deputy Consul-General of the Chinese Consulate General in Dusseldorf, attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches. Markus Taube, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr, presided over the ceremony.

Herbert Jakoby delivering a speech

Tian Qiru delivering a speech

Markus Taube presiding over the opening ceremony

The forum included two rounds of discussion. The first was hosted by Markus Taube and attended by Djoomart Otorbaev, former Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Johannes Pflug, Commissioner of the Chinese Affairs in Duisburg and former Member of the German Parliament, Zhang Fan from the National School of Development, Peking University and Ding Chun, Director of Centre for European Studies, Fudan University, each airing their views on the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Djoomart Otorbaev giving a speech.

Johannes Pflug (fourth from right) delivering a speech

Djoomart Otorbaev, speaking for the countries in Central Asia, said that the “Belt and Road” initiative was a new exploration into the models of global governance, which would eventually bring huge benefits to the economic development of those inland countries in Central Asia. However, he also pointed out, in an objective manner, that what countries in Central Asia needed was not only the actual investment from China, but also the soft power investment from China. Johannes Pflug elaborated on the significance that the “Belt and Road” initiative posed on Duisburg. Zhang Fan believed that when talking about the benefits the initiative can bring, we should evaluate it from a long-term perspective. Ding Chun believed that the “Belt and Road” initiative has started to produce positive impact as it links the countries along the route together.

Zhang Fan making a speech

Ding Chun making a speech

The second round of discussion was hosted by Chen Yinzhang, General Secretary of Fudan De-velopment Institute, Fudan University. Cao Guanzhe, Project Manager Asia Duisburger Hafen AG (Port of Duisburg), taking the logistics development of his company as an example, analyzed the opportunities brought by the China-Europe railway lines to the development of the company against the background of the “Belt and Road” initiative. Fu Xiaolan, Director of the Technology and Management for Development Centre of the University of Oxford, mainly introduced to the audience the importance of innovation and technological development in present days. Xavier Richet from Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 and Huang He from the School of Interna-tional Relations and Public Affairs (SIRPA) at Fudan University respectively commented on the international relations and the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Distinguished guests in the second round of discussion (From left to right: Chen Yinzhang, Cao Guanzhe, Fu Xiaolan, Xavier Richet and Huang He)

The forum lasted two days and also had six parallel sessions, where guests conducted detailed discussions on topics such as the “Belt and Road” initiative, Mainstream Media and Sustainability of Environment, Visions and Actions of the “Belt and Road” initiative, the “Belt and Road” initiative and Europe, Regional and International Backgrounds of the “Belt and Road” initiative, the “Belt and Road” initiative and Financial Policy, and the Belt and Road” initiative and Communications on Trade.

Brilliant speeches by the guests winning thunderous applause from the audience

Group photo of guests at the forum

Participants exchanging views freely with experts and scholars

In recent years, the Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr has been actively participating and orga-nizing various kinds of forums centering on China, providing a good platform for the communication among local and even international scholars as well as an open door to the knowledge of China for local residents.

Story by Wang Xiaolong; Photo by Frank Preuss