‘Diplomacy in the 21st century’ was the theme of this year’s seminar, organised for diplomats from the People’s Republic of China. In an intensive one-week programme, which took place at the Clingendael Institute from 14 till 18 September, they discussed a variety of topics with academic experts, policy makers and other professionals in the field; digital diplomacy, people-to-people diplomacy and economic diplomacy were just some of the issues.
Diplomacy in the 21st century
The world is changing with more speed and dynamics than ever before. States are dealing with many different actors in their international affairs, including an active civil society and an increasing global flow of people. As a result, diplomacy has changed as well. Networking with actors outside the public sphere is on the rise. Diplomats are required to do more extensive, complex and dynamic work, without losing their focus. They need to be equipped with the right set of know-how, skills and competences to deal with the challenges of today. A modern and professional diplomatic service is vital to operate effectively in the changing world. Modernization of diplomacy, new HR policies and strategic policy planning were therefore among the topics discussed during the seminar, which also took the Chinese delegation to the Netherlands MFA.
40th anniversary of diplomatic relations China-EU
The Chinese delegation also visited some EU institutions in Brussels to gain more insight into EU diplomacy and the current state of China-EU relations. This year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the EU. Since 1975 there has been a range of dialogues on a variety of topics, generally divided in three ‘dialogue pillars’:
- the political dialogue,
- economy and trade dialogue,
- the most recent pillar: people to people dialogue.
Specifically the economy and trade pillar is highly developed, with a strong foundation in the 1985 Trade and Cooperation Agreement. China is now the EU's 2nd trading partner behind the United States and the EU is China's biggest trading partner. The continuing cooperation between China and the EU can also be seen in the support of each other’s initiatives, like the One Belt One Road initiative and the EU-China investment plan.
- 23 September 2015