Join us on Thursday 26th August for a virtual discussion on the ‘Relations with Russia and China from the European perspective’.
Relations of Europe with Russia and China have been described as an “ambivalent partnership” and certainly involve increasing complexity. Russia has been a long term worry for Europe since the Cold War, but tensions have been heightened in the past decade as Russia has intervened in Ukraine, annexed the Crimea, and continued to undermine human rights. As the USA enters into a heightened period of competition and confrontation with China, Europe is forced to navigate its way through the political and economic fallout.
The geopolitical situation requires Europe to ask key questions regarding its perspective with Russia and China:
1. Is the alliance between Russia and China genuinely beneficial to their mutual security, or are their relations shallow and based on convenience?
2. Is it viable for the USA and its allies (i.e. the EU, UK, Australia, Japan) to seek to divide Russia and China so that they do not constitute a single bloc cooperating against the West in certain policy areas?
3. As NATO has identified China as a destabilising force, does this mark a change in European relations with China, and how will this affect the NATO position with Russia?
We will discuss these key questions and a wider view of the European perspective of relations with Russia and China with our expert panel members.
Our panel members bring distinct European perspectives from their long professional experience.
Dr. Stefanie Babst spent almost 22 years working in multiple senior roles at NATO. Her last role was the Head of the Strategic Analysis Capability for the NATO Secretary General and for the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, responsible for preparing strategic foresight assessments on potential upcoming crisis situations in geographical and functional areas of relevance and concern to NATO, as well as on their implications for the Alliance. She also worked in NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, including that of NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy. Stefanie began her career in 1991 as Assistant Professor for International Security Policy at the Institute of Political Science/Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel, Germany, moving on to become Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the Federal Armed Forces Command & General Staff College in Hamburg.
Michael Zilmer-Johns, was Danish Ambassador to NATO 2014-18 and is presently chairman of the Danish Government’s Security Analysis Group. He began his career at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1982 and has been posted to Bonn and Brussels (EU). Ten days before the terror attack on 9/11 2001 he was appointed Political Director and worked intensively during the next two years handling the ensuing crisis. In 2003 he became foreign and security advisor to Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen during the Iraq War. From 2005-13 he was State Secretary for Foreign and European Affairs covering the EU, OSCE, Denmark’s strategic partnerships with the US, Russia and China, other bilateral relations as well as security, including NATO and Danish participation in military operations. He served in the European External Actium Service 2013-14 as special advisor on Security and Defense to HR Lady Ashton.
Philippe Le Corre is a nonresident senior fellow in the Europe and Asia Programs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He specializes in China’s global rise, China’s relations with Europe and Eurasia, competition in the Asia-Pacific region, and Chinese foreign direct investments. Le Corre is also a senior fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, an affiliate with the Program on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship at Harvard’s Belfer Center and an associate in research with Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. From 2014 to 2017, he was a visiting fellow in the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. His career spans government, academia, media, and business. He has served as a special assistant for international affairs to the French defense minister, and as a senior policy adviser on Asia within the French Ministry of Defense’s directorate for international relations and strategy. He is the author of several books including China’s Offensive in Europe (Brookings Institution Press, 2016), Quand la Chine va au marché (Maxima, 1999) and Après Hong Kong (Autrement, 1997).