The LCSS Roundtable on SCO as a Major Player in Eurasia: What is there for Europe?

King’s College London, War Studies Department, 30th April 2015

The LCSS Roundtable on SCO as a Major Player in Eurasia: What is there for Europe?

The LCSS has produced a Roundtable Discussion on ‘SCO as a Major Player in Eurasia: What is there for Europe?’ co-hosted by LCSS and the Department of War Studies at the King’s College London (KCL).

The event was focused on two major topics: (1) the key features of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ project initiated by China in 2013, and (2) the latest developments with respect to Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The discussion was aimed primarily at exploring synergies between China and Europe along the ‘One Belt, One Road Initiative’ and discussing opportunities it may bring to China, Europe and neighbouring countries. It also drew attention to the awaited enlargement of SCO later this year and its possible implications for security and stability in the region.

The discussion brought together distinguished keynote speakers and well-known experts in the field of Eurasian/Central Asian regionalism, regional energy and security politics as well as latest trade and investment trends in China-Europe relations. The event was chaired by Dr Natasha Kuhrt, a leading expert on Russian and Eurasian security at the Department of War Studies at KCL. The participants included representatives of the Chatham House, King’s College London, LSE, SOAS, Keele University, Saferworld and Eurasian Dynamics Ltd.

The keynote speakers were Zhang Jiming, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, Stephen Phillips, CEO of China-Britain Business Council, Professor Keun-Wook Paik, Senior Research Fellow from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, also Associate Fellow of the Chatham House, Energy, Environment Development Programme, and Filippo Costa Buranelli, PHD Candidate from the Department of War Studies of KCL.

The following issues were presented by the keynote speakers and explored in detail during the follow-up Q&A session and discussion:

  • The Belt and Road Initiative: China’s Vision and Actions and what it means for Europe? (Zhang Jiming)
  • One Belt, One Road: What it means for Trade and Investment (Stephen Phillips)
  • China’s Energy Sector Perspective towards its Grand “One Belt, One Road” Initiative (Prof. Keun-Wook Paik)
  • The More the Merrier? The SCO and Prospects for its Enlargement (Filippo C. Buranelli)

The Roundtable was found to be a great success in furthering the LCSS Regional Studies Platform and expanding its portfolio in this new direction. The event offered considerable networking opportunities for researchers, academics, business people and practitioners with the interest in both China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ and SCO, as well as their relevance to Europe. Rosa Vercoe, the Roundtable convener and coordinator, proposed continuation of this cooperation to enable further exciting projects and cross-border networking groups for researchers and practitioners.