Researchers from the international affairs institutes of China and the Nordics, and other leading research institutions, will gather this week at NUPI to discuss. This is the seventh time the Sino-Nordic Think Tank Roundtable is being arranged, and this time NUPI is the organizer.

- The perhaps biggest value of the roundtables is that we meet as researchers – to explain and not necessarily defend our countries’ politics. At the same time, everyone is well-informed about the political climate, in addition to being specialized in our own fields of research, says Hans Jørgen Gåsemyr, affiliated senior researcher at NUPI.

Important questions and strong participant list

The discussions will center on international and regional issues. These include international trade regulations, investments, conflict and peace operations, but also more specific questions concerning China’s Belt and Road Initiative, North Korea, the effects of Brexit and the different countries’ Arctic interests. The opportunities for more cooperation and dialogue between the Nordic countries and China is also a central theme.

In addition to the roundtable discussions, where only researchers participate, NUPI is arranging an open panel discussion with some of the participants on Friday 8 September. This event is open to the public and provides the opportunity to ask questions.

You can watch the event live on YouTube from 09.00:

- The Nordic countries and the major power China do actually share many common interests, while in other areas, our politics are very different. It is exciting to discuss what, and then how, we can work a bit more together, says NUPI-director Ulf Sverdrup. He has been looking forward to welcoming his Chinese and Nordic colleagues to Oslo for a long time. China and the broader Asian region are strategic areas of great importance for NUPI. The institute has, among other activities, been leading the work on a forthcoming book China and Nordic Diplomacy that will be published this fall.

On the Chinese side, the Chinese Institute of International Studies is coordinating, and the Directors of the Finnish, Icelandic, Danish and Swedish international affairs institutes will participate, accompanied by some of their most relevant researchers. From Norway, PRIO is also participating.

Separate session on Norway-China

In light of the normalization of Norway-China relations, the researchers from these two countries have agreed to discuss bilateral issues in a separate session. Here the restarting of free trade negotiations, the newly established mechanism for bilateral consultations, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, human rights, G20 and other issues of importance for Norway and China will be key.

In 2016, a special issue on China and the Nordics of NUPI's journal Internasjonal Politikk was published (Norwegian only). You can watch the launch seminar - in English - here: