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China: The History and Geopolitics of a Superpower (In Person)

Harmony or aggressivity? What is China up to?

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Erindale United Church 1444 Dundas Crescent Mississauga, ON L5C 1E7 Canada

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About this event

11 October 2022 – Xi Jinping and China’s “Great Renewal”

At the end of the 18th century, imperial China was the largest and wealthiest country in the world. But its power proved fragile. As early as the mid-19th century, China was not able to stop the repeated interventions of the West and Japan. Unable to modernize itself, the empire entered a period of decline that led to its demise and a long period of civil war – a war ultimately won by the Communists in 1949. Since then, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has done everything to help China regain its rightful place on the global stage: the number one spot!

18 October 2022 – China, Russia and the War in Ukraine

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia on February 24, 2022 caught Beijing by surprise. Yet the Chinese authorities quickly offered their support to Vladimir Putin’s move against Ukraine, at least in words and through an active pro-Russia propaganda. What are China’s motives? And how long can it maintain an increasingly precarious balancing act between its political and economic partnership with Russia and its economic ties with the West?

25 October 2022 – Hong Kong and Taiwan: Political and Territorial Challenges for Beijing

Following its decision to impose a new national security law on Hong Kong, a move that ended the territory’s limited political autonomy, China set its sights on Taiwan. Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine, is an invasion of Taiwan imminent? A look at China’s complicated relationships with Hong Kong and Taiwan.

1 November 2022 – The True Ambitions of Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping is the architect of China’s modernization and economic development. In power between 1978 and 1992, he is considered one the great political figures of the 20th century. He transformed poor and backward China into the world’s second-leading economic power and ended its isolation on the global stage but remained uncompromising in the face of political dissent.

8 November 2022 – The New Silk Roads: Strengths and Weaknesses of a Global Project

In 2013, President Xi Jinping resuscitated the mythical silk roads – a gigantic project welcomed by some countries but prompting mistrust and paranoia in others. What is China’s ultimate goal?

Central Asian countries are caught in the middle of increasing tensions between China and Russia. How has China managed to impose its political and diplomatic influence in Central Asia?

China’s “new silk road” faces much resistance from India, and for good reasons. Beijing’s grand project is threatening India with commercial, geostrategic and military encirclement. No wonder the government of New Delhi is bent on thwarting the Belt and Road Initiative at every turn. But for how long?

15 November 2022 – The People’s Liberation Army: a Serious Competitor to the U.S. Army by 2050?

The People’s Liberation Army is getting stronger by the day. In recent months, numerous displays of force have strengthened the perception of a growing Chinese military threat among neighbouring countries and foes, not least the U.S. What is the state of China’s military today? Can it match the U.S. military by 2049, the centennial of the communist regime? If so, what are the consequences for Asia and the world?

22 November 2022 – China’s Strategy in the South China Sea

According to most experts in international relations, China’s repeated claims over the South China Sea have no legal basis. And yet China has refused to modify its maritime strategy in the region, arguing it is merely defending its “historical rights.” Can China be stopped in the South China Sea?

29 November 2022 – Will the 21st Century Belong to China?

Asia is bound to play a dominant role in the 21st century, in part because of its economic growth and demography. China or India: which of the two powers has the greatest chance of leading the pack? Is there anything the West can do to stop, or at least slow down, its perceived decline?