Date: Thursday, 9 February 2023, 06:00 pm
Location: Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, Französische Straße 32, 10117 Berlin
Moderated by: Pradnya Bivalkar, Senior Project Manager, Robert Bosch Academy
Speaker(s):
  • Huang Jing, Professor, Shanghai International Studies University; and Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, Robert Bosch Academy
  • Thorsten Benner, Co-Founder and Director, Global Public Policy Institute
  • Alexander Gabuev, Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Partner, competitor, and systemic rival? In recent years, contemporary debates found new terminology for dealing with China in geostrategic, economic, and political terms. But since the outbreak of Russia's war in Ukraine, it has become clear that China could help bring an end to this war: by playing the role of mediator.

The fundamentals for cooperation between China and the West, however, are on shaky ground. For many in the West, Beijing’s reluctance to condemn Russia’s aggression and the refusal to endorse sanctions is a bitter pill. From China’s perspective, the US and, to various degrees, its allies treat China as the “most consequential geopolitical challenge”. Also, the interests of major European powers, the United States, and NATO at times seems so inconsistent and even contradictory that a common line of “the West” is difficult to discern.

But recently signs of rapprochement are visible: the visit of several Western leaders to Beijing, as well as joint condemnation of the use of nuclear weapons and the war in general during the G20 summit in Bali. In addition, the shared commitment to preserve the existing international order signals that joint efforts to reach diplomatic solutions to the conflict are possible.

This debate will discuss the potentials, opportunities, and challenges in positioning China as a mediator in the war in Ukraine and how Russia will response to this. It will also discuss China’s relationship with Western powers, as well as the intricacies of the Sino-Russian relations in this endeavor and their implications for the transatlantic relationship and global peace.

A light meal and drinks will be served after the debate.