Institute of International Relations at NCCU Discusses EU Indo-Pacific Policy with European Scholars

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Chien-Wen Kou, Chairman of Institute of International Relations at NCCU, signs a memorandum of academic cooperation with Faculty of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Warsaw. (Photo: Institute of International Relations)

The NCCU Institute of International Relations (IIR) and the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Warsaw jointly organized the "2021 Taiwan-Europe Conference" on November 19th on the theme of "The European Union and the Indo-Pacific in the Age of U.S.-China Global Competition: Perspectives from Central Europe and Taiwan.” 

The opening ceremony was co-chaired by IIR Chairman Chien-Wen Kou, and was attended by scholars from the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Warsaw, as well as Poland’s former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Boguslaw Zaleski and Professor Jakub Zajaczkowski at the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw. The opening ceremony featured the signing of a memorandum on academic cooperation between the two schools.

In his remarks, Chairman Kou noted that the Indo-Pacific region has recently been polarized into two camps – a globalization force led by the US and an anti-globalization force championed by China. Kou added that the COVID-19 pandemic had further complicated matters in the region, creating new challenges and opportunities for security and governance. He stressed the importance of effectively evaluating domestic and foreign conditions and developing corresponding strategies. This conference marks the start of a new chapter of mutual assistance and cooperation between the IIR of NCCU and European academic institutions.

Boguslaw Zaleski, a scholar at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Warsaw, noted the increased emphasis his institution places on cooperation with the Asian academic community and noted that the exchange model established between the two schools expands the scope of cooperation. From a European point of view, the US-China competition plays a key role in regional developments, giving this conference great significance. Zaleski also said he hopes that the two schools will establish a tradition of academic exchanges between Taiwan and Europe that will continue far into the future.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tseng Hou-jen and the Director of the European Economic and Trade Office Filip Grzegorzewski also spoke to the conference, stressing the concern of the EU and central European states for developments in the Indo-Pacific region, and that there is increased room for dialogue between Taiwan and the European Union.

The conference was organized into three sessions to provide a better understanding of the EU’s Indo-pacific strategy from different perspectives. The first session, "Conceptualizing the EU's Indo-pacific Strategy," discussed the opportunities and challenges the EU faces due to US-China competition, with a particular focus on the role Taiwan plays. The second session, "China and the EU's Indo-pacific Strategy," discussed the relationship between central European countries and China, including recent developments in their respective Indo-Pacific strategies. The third session, "The Role of Norms and Values in the EU's Indo-Pacific Strategy," discussed the ideological foundations of the EU’s regional strategy, along with how and to what end the EU will seek to influence developments in the Indo-Pacific region.

The conference included experts from different academic institutions and important think tanks from Taiwan, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, and Ireland, along with New Zealand and other countries. Integrating academic and policy perspectives, these experts offered insight into a broad range of perspectives into Europe’s view on the competition between the United States and China, EU-China relations, the EU’s values-based diplomacy, and Taiwan-EU relations. The exchange of views provided a solid foundation for future academic exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and Europe.

The IIR of NCCU has promoted exchanges with Europe since the 1970s. This year, the institute established exchanges with the University of Warsaw, while simultaneously initiating a benchmark project with the Ministry of Education, "Policy Symposium on Asia-Pacific Security Governance", trying to create new momentum for the internationalization of related academic cooperation and the expression of diverse perspectives.

The conference brings together experts from different academic institutions and important think tanks from Taiwan, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, and Ireland, New Zealand, and other countries. (Photo: Institute of International Relations)

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