The 15th Stockholm China Forum was held in Guangzhou, China on May 22-23, 2015. At the forum, senior members of the policy, intellectual, business, and media communities in the United States, Europe, and China engaged in nuanced discussions on the most urgent Asia policy issues facing the transatlantic community, including: strategic competition in the Asia Pacific, counter-terrorism, Ukraine and Russia, climate change, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
The context for the discussions was one of intensifying U.S.-China strategic competition – but simultaneously, greater scope for cooperation between the United States, China, and Europe on certain issues too. While some topics looked at how the different sides could navigate and manage growing competition, discussions on a number of topics focused on the question of whether there was a sufficient convergence of Chinese and Western interests for the sides to push forward more meaningful cooperation. Participants felt that the Middle East, and counter-terrorism more specifically, appeared to be a relatively promising issue in this regard, as well as the subject of the final panel of this year’s forum: China’s Maritime Silk Road and Silk Road Economic Belt, known as the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Attendees also discussed China's role in collective trade talks beyond TPP and TTIP, including the current U.S. and EU negotiations on bilateral investment treaties with China. The discussion on climate change was striking in that for the most part participants believed that, unlike in Copenhagen, in Paris, China is likely to be one of the leading players in reaching a deal.
For additional commentary on this edition of the Stockholm China Forum, please read “Now China Starts to Make the Rules” by Philip Stephens in The Financial Times.
The Stockholm China Forum is an initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held in partnership with the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS) and Guangdong Research Institute for International Strategies (GRIIS). The Forum also benefitted from the additional support of PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) and Ericsson.