Bringing Europe's Leaders Together

Senior Advisers

Lanxin Xiang

Lanxin Xiang

Senior Adviser, China

Lanxin Xiang is Director of the Institute of Security Policy at the China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation (CNISCO) based in the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law. CNISCO was an initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping which arose from a meeting of the Shanghai Co-Operation Organisation Council in September 2013 in Bishkek. The Institute of Security Policy subsumed the Centre of One Belt and One Road Studies at CNISCO which Professor Xiang had until then directed.

Professor (Emeritus) Xiang has just retired as Professor of International History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva. He has previously held the Henry A. Kissinger Chair of Foreign Policy and International Affairs at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC; a Chair in International Affairs at Fudan University in Shanghai; the Zijiang Chair at East China Normal University and a Visiting Chair at the Foreign Affairs University, (CFAU), Beijing.

He is also Director of Strategic Compass Dialogues (EU-China), Schuman Center, European University Institute in Florence, and (US-China) in Washington D.C; a Senior Associate at CSIS in Washington, D.C, and Contributing Editor at Survival, IISS, London.

A graduate of Fudan University, Professor Xiang has a PhD in European studies from the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. His primary interest is China’s relations with the US and Europe, with publications that include four books in English, most recently ‘The quest for legitimacy in Chinese politics: a new interpretation’, and five in Chinese.

Peter Watkins

Peter Watkins

Senior Adviser, Defence and International Security

Peter Watkins was the Director General Strategy & International (2017-18) and Director General Security Policy (2014-17) in the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). In these roles, he was responsible for strategic policy & planning; deterrence policy, including nuclear; defence relations with NATO, the EU and with key bilateral allies (US, France, Germany, Australia); and, latterly, defence industrial policy, including exports.

Previous roles included Director General of the Defence Academy (2011-14); Director of Operational Policy, MOD (2008-11); Director Typhoon (2007-08). Among earlier assignments, he was Private Secretary to the Defence Secretary (2001-03) and Counsellor (Defence Supply & Aerospace), British Embassy Bonn/Berlin (1996-2000). He was a Visiting Fellow, Harvard University (2006-07).

Peter is now a Non-Executive Member of the Board of the UK Space Agency; a Member of the Council of Cranfield University; a Visiting Senior Fellow with LSE IDEAS; and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House. He was awarded a CB and a CBE in the 2019 and 2004 Honours Lists respectively.