New Silk Road: Perspectives from the East to the West conference

On 11 May 2019, together with Harvard Club of Poland, we had the honour to host an exceptionally special event at University of Warsaw – an open seminar “The New Silk Road – perspectives from the East to the West”, with the participation of four renowned, world-class scholars.

The seminar was opened with a keynote speech “The Historical Silk Road and the BRI”, delivered by Professor Mark C. Elliott – Vice Provost for International Affairs at Harvard University, Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History and an authority on the last four centuries of Chinese history. He published a number of books and articles on this subject, while his specialization remains the Qing period.

Afterwards, we had the pleasure to listen to the presentation “Between GeoEconomic Strategy and Developmental Peace: Understanding Competing Perception of China’s Belt and Road”, delivered by Professor Matt Ferchen. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at Tsinghua University and a Research Consultant at Leiden Asia Centre, specializing in China’s political-economic relations with emerging economies.

Professor Andrew Godwin followed suit, having delivered a speech “BRI and the China International Commercial Court”. He is an Associate Professor, Director of Transactional Law, Director of Banking and Finance Law, and Associate Director of the Asian Law Centre at Melbourne Law School. He has acted as consultant to the World Bank and the Judicial College of Victoria.

The series of short lectures was closed by Professor Andrew Lin and his presentation “The impact and implication of BRI to Lawyers: From Bilateral Investment Agreement to Alternative Investment Disputes Resolutions”. He currently serves as Associate Editor-in-Chief of NTU Law Review, and Editor of the Asian Journal of Comparative Law. He is also a director of the Securities and Futures Investors Protection Centre.

The Q&A session that was organised afterwards, was moderated by Ambassador Tadeusz Chomicki, a former ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the People’s Republic of China and South Korea.

Words cannot express how grateful we are for the chance to witness such a powerful clash of great minds, the valuable information they told us and the wisdom they shared with us. We believe that the fully-packed classroom of curious participants is the best evidence of a fruitful discussion!