ChinaTalks Archive – University of Copenhagen > Events and News > ChinaTalks Archive

ChinaTalks Archive

In March 2014, and Asian Dynamics Initiative launched the lecture series ChinaTalks, which brings international scholars and experts specialized in China to the University of Copenhagen to give presentations for both students and external participants. The events are open to all, but registration is usually required.

For upcoming ChinaTalks head over to our calendar.

14 June 2018, 14:30-16:30: Professor Marc Lanteigne

ChinaTalks Lecture: Europe within China's Belt and Road: Superhighway or Diverging Lanes?


Although Europe had been viewed by China as an essential economic partner for several decades, the advent of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative has placed Europe into a much brighter spotlight within Chinese foreign policy, even though it remains uncertain what the precise roles European economies will play within the greater BRI framework as it continues to evolve. Although the European Union and its immediate neighbours have been seen as a major hub for China's expanding trade networks, obstacles have begun to appear which have begun to challenge the perceptions of both sides. These include the advent of Beijing's 'subregional' approaches to economic engagement in Europe, such as via the Central and Eastern European states as well as the Nordic-Arctic, China's still-developing European free trade diplomacy, concerns about ambitious Chinese investments in Europe, and, on a higher level, the potential backlash in the EU from the widening trade war between Beijing and Washington. These developments have suggested an emerging 'hedging' strategy on the part of the Xi Jinping government towards Europe, while the need for an EU-level approach to China's growing economic power has become more pressing. 

Organizers:, Centre for Military Studies and Political Science at University of Copenhagen

27. august 2018, 15:30-17:00: Søren Elbech

ChinaTalk and Panel Debate: AIIB – Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank


The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is the youngest multilateral development bank and began operations in 2016. AIIB was established as an initiative by the Chinese government with headquarters in Beijing and now has 87 members. AIIB’s mission is to promote social and economic development in Asia by investing in sustainable infrastructure. The motto of the Bank is Lean (effective, minimal bureaucracy and overhead), Clean (zero tolerance for corruption) and Green (environmentally friendly). Denmark is a founding member of the AIIB.

Organizers: ThinkChina, UCPH Global Development, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

14 June 2018, 14:30-16:30: Professor Hu Jie

ChinaTalks lecture: Shan-Shui City - Exploring Sustainable Urban Development in China


The 21st century can be regarded as an “urban” century. China is now experiencing an accelerated period of urbanization, which has brought rapid development while also urban problems, such as environmental pollution, ecological deterioration and the loss of cultural and regional characteristics.

The concept of Shan-Shui City advocates building cities in accordance with local conditions and respect for local culture. Looking back in history, the relationship between humans and nature has been considered in Chinese civilization since ancient times. The geomorphology and cultural features lead to the Shan-shui city idea. Some famous ancient cities, such as Xian Yang (Qin Dynasty), Lin An (Song Dynasty) and Beijing (Yuan, Ming, Qing Dynasty), are the examples of the pattern of geomantic places.

Organizers:, The Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management

15. may 2018, 14:15-16:00: Professor Tunsjø Øystein

ChinaTalks Lecture: The Return of Bipolarity in World Politics: China, the United States and Geostructural Realism


Professor Tunsjø's new book argues that the international system has entered a new US-China bipolar system. In establishing the bipolarity thesis it focuses on three arguments: 1) the narrowing power gap between the US and China; 2) the widening power gap between China and #3 ranking power; and 3) the roughly similar distribution of capabilities between the contemporary international system and the origins of the previous bipolar system in 1950. China has not reached power parity with the US, but the USSR was never as powerful as the US during the previous bipolar system. Currently, it is the widening power gap between the US and China and any third ranking power that has shifted the international system from unipolarity to bipolarity.

Organizers: and Centre for Military Studies

8 March 2018, 15:00-17:00: Professor Brantly Womack

ChinaTalks lecture: China and the Re-centering of Asia 


Traditional China remained central to East and Central Asia despite centuries of discord and conquests by outsiders.  While China’s internal cohesion and preponderance of power wavered, the three constants underlying its centrality were its presence (central location and absence of alternative centers), its population, and its productivity.  In the modern era China was overpowered, but more importantly the West provided alternative presence and much greater productivity.  In the current multinodal era China’s ambition is to re-establish its centrality. Presence returns as inclusive connectivity.  Population returns as market. Production returns initially as manufactures but increasingly as technology and international services. But the diplomatic culture appropriate to globally inclusive Asian centricity is neither the paternalism of the tribute system nor the domination of modern imperialism. China’s major external challenge will be to avoid slipping into the traditional complacency that centrality implies superiority.

Organizers: and The Department of Political Science (UCPH)

7 March 2018, 15:00-17:00: Professor Jonathan Holslag 

ChinaTalks lecture: The Silk Road Trap - How China Damages Europe's Position in the Global Order


China's BRI is proposed to Europe as an opportunity. In this lecture Jonathan Holslag will evaluate to which extent trade with China has indeed been beneficial, what the intentions are behind the BRI promises, and how China's new economic diplomacy is organized. As China’s market share grows spectacularly in countries along the New Silk Road, key European member states have both lost market shares and even seen their exports shrink in absolute terms.

Organizers: and Centre for Military Studies

15 December 2017, 10:00-13:00: Professor Evans Chan

ChinaTalks lecture: The Birth of a Community Movie-Screening Curcuit in Post-Umbrella Movement Hong Kong


Hong Kong, being colonized for 155 years by Britain and obtaining partial democracy in its final months, was handed back to China in 1997, under a “one country, two systems” arrangement. Yet the ensuing deterioration of economic equity, rule of law and cultural and political autonomy in Hong Kong resulted in an extraordinary 79-day succession of Occupy street protests in 2014 known as the Umbrella Movement. The fear of and discontent with “the encroachment of China” has generated several independent films reflecting on Hong Kong’s past, present and future. Leading the charge was Ten Years, a dystopian cinematic envisioning of a Hong Kong with self-immolating protesters, PRC-planted terrorists, and secret archives for its oppressed indigenous culture. Launched in November 2015, the film gained notoriety when it was criticized by the PRC’s Global Times for being “absurd…ridiculous…and spread[ing] fear.”

Organizers: ThinkChina & the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, UCPH

27 November 2017: Professor Yuan Ren

ChinaTalks lecture: Rural Land Transfer Reforms and Chinese Urbanization 


Migration and China’s Urbanization is not only influenced by hukou system and related institutional/social exclusions in host cities, but also influence by rural land factors in their sending places. With empirical studies, the speaker will illustrate how rural land and rural land transfer will influence labors’ migratory decision and behavior in China, and emphasize joint bilateral reforms in urban sector (hukou reform) and in rural sector (land reform) are important for Chinese labor market building and future urbanization. 

Organizers: ThinkChina & Section for Landscape Architecture and Planing, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen

27 September 2017: Professor David Shambaugh

ChinaTalks lecture: Prospects for the 19th Party Congress and China's Future


The Chinese Communist Party approaches its 19th Congress this autumn and questions abound about the political strength and staying power of Xi Jinping. Who will compose the next Politburo, China’s top leadership? What will be their policy orientations? More deeply, though, there exist many questions about China's internal and external policy orientation, and whether the post-Congress leadership will be able to restart a variety of reforms that have stalled since the 18th Congress in 2012. There are also questions about the quality of the Communist Party itself, following five years of an intensive anti-corruption campaign, ideological tightening, and a severe crackdown on the public sphere in China. Will China stay on its current "hard authoritarian" path, or might it shift back in a more liberal direction? These and other pressing questions will be explored in Professor Shambaugh's public lecture.

Organizers:, Danish-Chinese Business Forum

9 September 2017: Professor Jack Qiu

ChinaTalks: Goodbye iSlave - A Manifesto for Digital Abolition


Old and new working-class people in China are adopting and appropriating digital media, while the digital economy is creating entirely new jobs, communities, and socio-political dynamics. The digital working class marks a fourth stage in the modern history of Chinese class politics, when China has become the world's factory with immense labor power and increasing social inequality, when the content of Chinese working-class culture has become more diverse and impactful than ever as could be seen in the Fan Yusu phenomenon in spring 2017, all happening at a time when the results of China's internal processes become more consequential for the world at large. What are the characteristics of China's digital working class? How can we make sense of it, through what conceptual frameworks? This talk shall discuss the applicability of the "circuits of labor" model (Qiu, Gregg and Crawford, 2014), its premises, limits and implications for future research.

Organizers: Think China & NIAS