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EG at Lau Institute China Week, King's College London

Professor Shitij Kapur, President and Principal of King's College London © King's College London / CC-BY 2.0 /

The Conference Proceedings - Calvin Oliver

In the final week of October, the Lau China Institute launched an event called ‘China Week’ at King’s College London. Aside from being an opportunity to meet a diverse cast of people with similar interests, the week put into focus a myriad of environmental matters with respect to China and international actors. Preceding COP26 by a week, topics featured ranged from more economic affairs such as the Build Back Better World (B3W) vs the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) and China’s 2060 carbon pledge and the economic transition to a low carbon future, to more nuanced discussions concerning the health impacts of climate change.

The launch reception in the evening of the first day featured a warm welcome from Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal of King's College London, as well as a greeting from Professor Kerry Brown and talk on pluralistic rationality by Professor Astrid Nordin. Woven between all of this was networking and drinks with fellow colleagues and familiar and new faces.

Throughout the week, a range of panels and events were hosted, with some online and some in person. To kick it all off, Monday morning’s panel focused on China’s 2060 Carbon pledge, with panelists present being Isabel Hilton OBE, Founder of China Dialogue; Dr Chen Ji, Principal of the Rocky Mountain Institute; James Pennington from China Partnerships & Circular Economy of the World Economic Forum; and Dr Chunping Xie from Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics.

A special mention goes out to one of our members at European Guanxi, Giulia D’Aquila, who was a speaker alongside Dr Hiu Man Chan of the UK-China Film Collab during the film screening of Stephen Chow’s ‘The Mermaid’, a movie which focuses on providing a commercial take on the environmental issues that face contemporary China. Giulia’s experience and insight into the proceedings of ‘China Week’ can be found further below.

Of particular interest, the final day, day 5, featured a panel discussion on how young people can get involved and drive change, emphasising the importance of individual determination in a world where so much has changed politically and continues to change, especially in the wake of COVID19. The panelists for this event were Gordon Abeiku Mensah, Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum; Matthew MacGeoch, a member of the Climate Bonds Initiative & Oxford University Silk Road Society; as well as Dr Giulia Sciorati from the University of Trento, Italian Institute for International Political Studies, with whom European Guanxi had previously hosted a webinar with focusing on what lies ahead for relations between China and Europe. The webinar can be found here.