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Research Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen

Ten Years Dutch Studies Centre Fudan-Groningen

14 April 2016

The Dutch Studies Centre (DSC) Fudan-Groningen celebrated its tenth anniversary on Friday 8 April 2016. Ten years ago, the prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and the University of Groningen entered into a far-reaching commitment by formalizing and institutionalizing their relationship. Since then, many activities have been developed under the DSC banner, in the fields of both teaching and research. The focus has been on European integration, Sino-European and Sino-Dutch relations, studied from an International Relations perspective.

Thematically, the DSC conference focused on trade, investments and development cooperation in Sino-Dutch and Sino-European relations, divided into two sessions.

One Belt, One Road

The first session discussed the ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative, launched three years ago by Chinese President Xi Jinping, with the aim of boosting international trade on three continents. Alluding to the ancient trade routes linking China to the Middle East and Europe, President Xi hopes to build a new Silk Road as an alternative overland transport route to the European market. After crossing Turkey, the Road heads through Europe, traversing Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Germany and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The OBOR initiative has an open and inclusive character. It is not just about trade and transport; it has a strongly investment-related purpose as well. The DSC conference investigated the developments to date; OBOR’s chances of success; its potential for the development of Asia (including Mongolia and Korea), Africa and Europe; the expected consequences for existing multilateral institutions; and OBOR’s impact on Sino-Dutch relations.

Development cooperation

The second conference topic, development cooperation, is closely linked to the OBOR initiative. The current Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen promotes a policy agenda that embraces three ambitions: to eradicate extreme poverty within a generation, to promote sustainable and inclusive economic development worldwide, and to facilitate success for Dutch companies doing business abroad. By combining these issues and working together for effective private sector development, the Netherlands has taken steps towards a more coherent and sustainable agenda for aid, trade and investments. The DSC conference looked at the results of Dutch trade and aid policies so far, and their implications for China and the East Asian region. It also investigated recent trends in Chinese development policy and China’s attitude towards the UN 2030 agenda.

The conference was held in the resplendent Siyuan Hall of Fudan University’s main Guanghua Building. Among the speakers were Prof. Ding Chun (Fudan), Prof. Tjalling Halbertsma (Groningen), Prof. Yin Chen (Fudan), Dr Ingrid d’Hooghe (Clingendael), Dr Jin Ling (China Institute of International Studies), Prof. Zhang Haibing (Shanghai Institute for International Studies), Dr Agnieszka Kazimierczuk (Leiden), Dr Sunkung Choi (Groningen) and Prof. Jan van der Harst (Groningen). The large audience included the Consul General of the Netherlands in Shanghai, Mrs Anneke Adema, and the President of the Board of the University of Groningen, Prof. Sibrand Poppema.

Since the establishment of the DSC Fudan-Groningen, the University of Groningen has launched three more research centres in East Asia: the Tsinghua-Groningen Research Centre for EU-China relations in Beijing, China; the Osaka-Groningen Research Centre in Osaka, Japan; and most recently the PNU-Groningen Research Centre in Busan, South Korea.

Please contact the academic director for further information on the Dutch Studies Centre: Prof. Jan van der Harst. See also the DSC website and this video .

Last modified:01 February 2023 4.21 p.m.
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