In April, the Club of Three organised a webinar on Europe-China relations in the context of the war in Ukraine in collaboration with the China International Institute of Strategic Studies (CIISS).
The discussion, jointly chaired by Club of Three Chairman Michael Maclay and Professor Lanxin Xiang, Director of the Institute of Security Policy at the China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation (CNISCO), involved some 60 senior figures from business, politics, diplomacy and academia in France, Germany, the UK and China.
Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine had created a new geopolitical reality that put defence and security at the top of the European policy agenda, if not the global agenda. Europe’s strong response to the continuing conflict on its eastern border indicated that a red line had been crossed by the Kremlin and that there would not be a return to a normal state of affairs with Russia any time soon. China on the other hand, while stating that it respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, had taken a more sympathetic approach towards Russia, pinning some of the blame for the present situation on NATO’s expansion.
In addition to addressing these geopolitical and security issues, the meeting also aimed to explore prospects for Europe-China cooperation on globalisation and multilateral trade governance.
The main speakers were:
Norbert Röttgen, German Member of Parliament (CDU); President, Club of Three; Chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee (2014-21); Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (2009-11)
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Chen Xiaogong, Former Deputy Director, CCP Politburo Foreign Affairs Office; Deputy Commander, PLA Air Force
Sylvie Bermann, French diplomat; Chair of the supervisory board, French Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defence (IHEDN); French Ambassador to China (2011-2014), the UK (2014-2017) and Russia (2017-2019)
Ambassador Yi Xiaozhun, Former Deputy Minister, Chinese Ministry of Commerce; Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Deputy Director General, WTO
Participants included: Hans-Christoph Atzpodien (Managing Director, German Security and Defence Industry Association BDSV); Victor Gao (Vice President, Center for China and Globalization and Chair Professor, Soochow University; Ian Bond (Deputy Director, Centre for European Reform); Sir Jonathan Day (Former Chairman, UK Joint Intelligence Committee); Rear Admiral (Ret.) Zhao Dengping (Former Deputy Chief of the Equipment Department, People’s Liberation Army Navy); François Godement (Senior Adviser for China, Institut Montaigne); August Hanning (President, Federal Intelligence Service, 1998-2005); Major General (Ret.) Zhang Jianguo (Former Chief Representative, Chinese Mission to the UN Military Staff HQ and Defence Attaché to the UK); Alexander Klimburg (Head of the Centre for Cybersecurity and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum); Zhu Jie (Secretary General, CIISS); Gilles de Margerie (Commissioner General for Policy Planning, French Prime Minister’s Office); Rudolf Scharping (Former German Minister of Defence and Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate); Lord Turner (Chairman, Energy Transitions Commission)