Young China Watchers (YCW) and King’s College London’s Lau China Institute held our fourth YCW-Lau China Conference in London on Saturday 7 November 2020.
This year’s Conference coincided with the advent of the twenties and unprecedented, destabilising shifts around the world. These include not only the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting global economic downturn, but also tech security fallouts; environmental catastrophes; Black Lives Matter; and struggles between the left- and right-leaning movements/governments.
In response to the oft-understated complexity of the role played by China in those turning points, as well as the rise of pressing questions on how the world envisions a new, post-COVID “normal”, the theme of this year’s Conference was: “The 2020s: China’s decade?”
A summary report of the conference and award ceremony is available to download as a PDF below:
Watch the entire conference here:
The opening remarks for the fourth YCW-Lau Conference, delivered by YCW Global Director Sue Anne Tay and King’s Lau China Institute Director Kerry Brown.
Opening Keynote: Cindy Yu
Cindy Yu, The Spectator’s broadcast editor and host of its “Chinese Whispers” podcast, challenges the premise that the 2020s will be China’s decade and reminds us that, due to the country’s rapid pace of change and dueling opportunities and challenges, it is extremely difficult to predict China’s future.
Panel 1: Geopolitics and Journalism
Shashank Joshi (The Economist), Ananth Krishnan (The Hindu), and independent reporter Ruiyao Luo discuss the state of India-China relations, the gap in understanding between the two peoples, and the challenges of reporting within the China-India space.
Panel 2: Tech Ventures in the 2020s
Co-Founder of Gobi Partners Thomas Tsao, tech investor and entrepreneur Chris Schroeder, and Harvard University Ph.D candidate Bulelani Jili discuss China and the shifting global tech, business and finance landscape.
Panel 3: Global Narratives in the 2020s
Becky Davis (Variety Magazine), Runako Celina (Black Livity China), and Aladin Farré (SupChina “Middle Earth” podcast) discuss China’s power over popular culture at home and abroad.
Closing Keynote: Yukon Huang
Yukon Huang, Senior Fellow of the Carnegie Asia Program and former Country Director for China at the World Bank, traces China’s rise and the West’s response to it, casting doubt on the conventional wisdom surrounding the subject and highlighting the importance of economic factors in foreign policy and global relations.
Many thanks to Kerry Brown and King’s College London for their support in organizing and hosting the conference. Thanks to our speakers Cindy Yu, Yukon Huang, Shashank Joshi, Ananth Krishnan, Ruiyao Luo, Thomas Tsao, Chris Schroeder, Bulelani Jili, Becky Davis, Runako Celina, Aladin Farré, Gary Izunwa. We also thank YCW moderators Sarah Montgomery, Michael Yip and Cameron Hunter, as well as Emily Riddell, Sam Colombie and Joshua Cartwright for editorial support.