YCW Europe V4 Series online debate: Navigating the US-China rivalry in Central and Eastern Europe

With Alicja Bachulska (China Analyst, Asia Research Centre), Sándor Kusai (Former Hungarian ambassador to China, Mongolia and the DPRK), Patrycja Pendrakowska (Head of Boym Institute for Asian and Global Studies), Matej Šimalčík (Executive Director of the Central European Institute of Asian Studies)

Tuesday 18 May 2021

• 5pm (London)
• 6pm (Berlin & Brussels)
• 12pm (Washington DC)
Access via a virtual conference platform – details in an Eventbrite email shortly before the event

The ‘YCW Europe – V4 Series’ aims to give voice to the often overlooked Visegrád 4 countries in the discussion around China in Europe, and China’s influence more broadly in the Central Eastern European region. Despite often being portrayed as China’s entry point to the EU, the four countries themselves have each faced a varied experience with Beijing. The double aim of this series is to provide an opportunity for a wider audience outside the region to gain insight into the perspective of V4 scholars and professionals working on China, as well as to help strengthen the region’s China watching community. In our launch event of the V4 Series in February a distinguished panel of China experts from V4 countries discussed the state of relations between the V4 countries and China.. A replay of the online event can be found here.

In our second event of the Series we would like to explore the question of how the US-China rivalry plays into Central and Eastern European countries’ relations with China. The event titled “Navigating the US-China rivalry in Central and Eastern Europe” will have the format of an online public debate. We will have two teams each consisting of two speakers arguing for and against the following motion:

“This house believes Central and Eastern European countries should align themselves with the US, at the expense of improving relations with China.”

The audience will be polled on the motion both before and after the debate. The percentage change between the first and second votes determines which team won the debate. After the formal debate there will be an open discussion in which the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Since the event will be held under Chatham House rules, we encourage everyone to join the event live, because we will not record the discussion and post it online afterwards.

For the motion:

Alicja Bachulska – China analyst at the Asia Research Centre, War Studies University in Warsaw
Matej Šimalčík – Executive Director of the Central European Institute of Asian Studies

Against the motion:

Patrycja Pendrakowska – Head of Boym Institute Warsaw
Sándor Kusai – Former Hungarian ambassador to China, Mongolia and the DPRK

RSVP here


Alicja Bachulska
Alicja Bachulska works as a China analyst at the Asia Research Centre, War Studies University in Warsaw. She is also a MapInfluenCE China analyst in Poland and a member of China Observers in Central and Eastern Europe (CHOICE). She is currently working on her PhD thesis at the Graduate School for Social Research (GSSR), Polish Academy of Sciences, where she focuses on cultural trauma representations in Chinese museums. Alicja graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, with a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese and Development Studies. She also completed her Master’s degree in International Politics (Chinese Politics and Diplomacy) at Fudan University, Shanghai. You can find her on Twitter @a_bachulska

Sándor Kusai
Sándor Kusai is a Titular Associate Professor of Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, an independent expert on international relations and China, and former Ambassador of Hungary to China, Mongolia and the DPRK. He graduated as Master of international studies with excellence at Moscow State University of International Relations in 1985, and Master of international economics at Budapest University of Economic Sciences in 1990. During his 30 years in the Hungarian Diplomatic Service between 1985 and 2015, he spent 22 years on foreign assignments, including 18 years in China and 4 years in Malaysia. He is also a holder of the Middle Cross of the Order of the Republic of Hungary (2010).

Patrycja Pendrakowska
Patrycja Pendrakowska is an analyst on innovations and politics of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong. PhD candidate at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw. She graduated from sinology (BA), philosophy (BA), sociology (BA) ethnology (MA) and financial law (MA) programmes at the University of Warsaw, as well as studied sociology at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich. She was the President of Polish-Asia Research Centre in 2017-2019. In 2016/2017 she worked at Security Studies Centre, War Studies University. In 2011, she studied migration issues in Nepal, at the Institute of Integrated Development Studies, Kathmandu.

Matej Šimalčík
Matej Šimalčík is the Executive Director of the Central European Institute of Asian Studies, a think tank that focuses on foreign and security policy issues related to East Asia. Šimalčík’s research looks at China’s economic and political presence and influence in Central Europe, elite relations as well as the role of European legal instruments in dealing with China. He has a background in law (Masaryk University) and International Relations (University of Groningen).

Europe – V4 Series online debate: Navigating the US-China rivalry in Central and Eastern Europe
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