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A New Initiative Strengthening the Links Between Europe and China
December 1, 2020 - 10:14
On the 15th & 16th of April the Fudan European Centre for Modern and Comparative China Studies was inaugurated at the University of Copenhagen. The first of its kind in Europe, the Centre will focus on researching the interaction between China and Europe and will aim to strengthen the cooperation between the two with research in areas such as welfare, environment, governance and government, politics and economy.
The Centre will be located at NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Department of Political Science at University of Copenhagen’s Social Science Campus. NIAS Director Geir Helgesen will be director of the Centre, while Fudan University has appointed Professor Liu Chunrong as Deputy Director.
According to Geir Helgesen, the foundation of the Centre is the very notion of two-way research and an important part of the collaboration is for the Centre to advance projects which compare developments in China and Europe. The emphasis of the research will initially be within the Social Sciences with a bridge to the Humanities, although there is already incipient links with colleagues within the Natural Sciences.
Commenting on the inauguration of the Centre, Professor Ralf Hemmingsen, Rector of the University of Copenhagen, says: “At University of Copenhagen, we have focused strategically on Asia research for several years. The new Centre will strengthen the University’s research considerably and give us a prominent position in Europe on this large and highly important field. Danish research has a good position in China, but China is expanding fast and we need to be able to keep up and to develop new initiatives within areas including the Social Sciences and Humanities.”
The inauguration was marked and celebrated over two days, starting with a one-day conference entitled “Creative spaces – Seeking the Dynamics of China’s Development”. At the conference renowned scholars from Fudan University, the University of Copenhagen and IIAS, the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands, presented their research on and discussed some of China’s well known and urgent challenges.
On the second day the official opening ceremony was held with speeches by the Danish Minister for Research, Innovation and Higher Education, Morten Østergaard, the Ambassador of China to Denmark, Mr. Li Ruiyu, Vice-President of Fudan University, Prof. Lin Shangli, and the Rector of the University of Copenhagen, Prof. Ralf Hemmingsen. Present was also the new Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Dagfinn Høibråten, who has deep interests in China, as well as representatives from Danish and international academia, media and business environment.