Europe China Programme (ECP)

 I. Introduction

The Europe-China Programme is conducted by the GIS Department at HKBU for the David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI).

The David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI) or, for short, the Lam Institute, was previously known as the Centre for East-West Studies (CEWS), and is affiliated with Hong Kong Baptist University, a public-funded university with a Christian heritage. The Institute aims at promoting a better understanding between East and West. Recognizing the role of Hong Kong as one of the greatest financial and trade centers of the world, as well as a major place for exchange between Chinese and Western Civilizations, it creates networks not only among distinguished educational institutions in the Pacific region, but also those in the West, thereby enabling communication across continents.

Of relevance here is the LEWI international network of thirteen universities from Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden, U.S.A., U.K., and the Asia Pacific Region, in addition to fifteen eminent universities on the Chinese mainland. The Institute supports the development of the Europe China Programme (ECP) by the GIS Department of HKBU, which in turn develops international collaboration networks for LEWI.

II. Mission Statement

The Europe China Programme aims at analysing the current context of Sino-European relations and at providing opportunities for further development of exchanges between China and Europe. Both Europe and China are going through dramatic changes. The introduction of the European Monetary Union (EMU) has brought the European Union to a new stage of integration. The enlargement of 2004 as well as the institutional reform, and the possible adoption of a constitution, is  further developing the European Union as a major player in global economy and international politics. China has also been transformed by domestic economic reforms and access to WTO, the handover of Hong Kong and Macau, and dramatic changes in social behaviour and mentalities. Transformations in China as well as their consequences on international relations are expected to increase in the coming years.

As a result, the relations between China and the EU will intensify and become more crucial for managing global issues such as international trade, security, health, and the environment. Hong Kong, with long standing and significant European business interests operating in China, and an associated European community, will remain a hub for China-EU relations. It is also an appropriate place to analyse these developments.

The programme mobilizes local as well as overseas resources. In addition to GIS staff, it enlists the co-operation of colleagues from HKBU, in particular from the China Studies Course and the Departments of Economics, History, Geography, Religion and Philosophy. Scholars from other tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and on the mainland are also invited to join the programmeˇ¦s activities. Established contacts with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Tsinghua University in Beijing, Fudan University in Shanghai, and Academia Sinica in Taipei are of particular relevance. Relations with the Macau Institute for European Studies, with the Hong Kong Macau Association for European Studies, and with the French Centre for China Studies also support and nourish the programmeˇ¦s activities. Simultaneously, the existing co-operation with scholars from Major European universities and research institutes is essential.

Within this framework the Europe China Programme aims to

ˇP        fortify existing strengths and favor knowledge of China in Europe, and of Europe in China;

ˇP        promote inter-disciplinary, inter-institutional as well as international co-operation in the field

ˇP        conduct and produce genuine research about contemporary Sino-European Relations;

    ˇP    establish long-term research cooperation with Chinese and overseas universities.

III. Research Focus

  Political relations between China and Europe

This programme builds on a previous joint project between HKBU/GIS and the University of Giessen (Germany), funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the University Grants Council (UGC). It focuses both on relations between China and European countries, and on the development of relations between China and the European Union. It is conducted by staff members of the GIS and China Studies and scholars from Europe. The programme regularly runs conferences and publications. 

Economic relations between China and Europe

The continuous observation of economic relations between both regions is of crucial importance for Hong Kong. In particular, economic relations will be one of the major topics addressed by the Master in European Studies and Sino-European Relations to be launched by the GIS Department in September 2004. Close connections are established in this respect with European economic interests in Hong Kong. Specific research activities will be organised in the coming years.

Cultural relations between China and Europe

      This programme comprises two different topics:

Western Phiosophy in China: This is an off-shoot from the RGC-funded research project Western philosophy in China 1992-1997. A Bibliography. This project, which since 1987 has continuously recorded the adoption of Western, mainly European philosophy in China, is the only one of this kind. The ECP publishes a biannual bibliography in co-operation with the Institute of Philosophy, CASS, Beijing.

European Studies in the Chinese Speaking Area. These activities are in line with the teaching orientation and expertise of the Department of GIS, hosting both a Bachelor in European Studies and a Master in European Studies and Sino-European Relations, and coupling language studies and social sciences in the curriculum.

 The above research programmes motivate the organisation of Conferences, seminars (East-West Talks) and publications (East-West Dialogue). Research activities are open to a large public, associate visiting Scholars, and regularly invite guest external speakers.  Professor Richard Balme, Professor Herbert Yee, Dr. Ting Wai, Dr. Werner Hess, Dr. Beatrice Cabau-Lampa, Dr. Li Lian Jiang, Dr. Michael DeGolyer, Dr. Chen Feng, and Dr. Kenneth Chan are the GIS Staff members most involved in these programmes.

. Research Activities


 Forthcoming   The European Union Reassessed: Constitutional Change, Enlargement, and Relations with Asia  (Conference), Fall 2004.

-         Institutional Developments of the European Union: A View from the European Parliament (Seminar), February 20 2004.

-         What next for Europe? Expansion, Integration and a New Constitution. (Symposium), November 20 2003.

-         Friendship between France and Germany: Current Issues and Perspectives (Workshop), 22 January 2003. 

-         Visa for Life: Diplomats who rescued Jews (Exhibition), 26-30 November 2001.

-         France and Germany in Sino-European Relations (Conference), 22-23 June 2001.

-         One Thousand Years of Hungarian Music (Exhibition), 14-28 February 2001.

-         China Threat Perceptions from Different Continents (Conference), 11-12 January 2001.


  The East-West Talks Series

The ECP will continue this seminar/lecture programme to enhance communication between Asian and Western scholars and to promote better understanding between East and West. Since the programme was launched three years ago, more than fifty scholars from all parts of the world have presented lectures on topics related to China and the West, among them well-known scholars from European Studies Centres in France and Germany and several members of the European Parliament.

Click here for a list of previous East West Talks speakers.

Chronicle of EU-China Relations

The ECP develops an archive on the European Union and China. The archive mainly consists of newspaper clippings from international and Chinese media. It publishes regular reports on current developments of EU-China relations. The ECP aims at publishing the chronicle on a regular basis.

The chronicle is divided into four parts: political relations, economic relations, cultural relations and military relations. It includes an index of all sources used (English and Chinese), among them BBC, Asian Wall Street Journal, Beijing Review, China Daily, Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Guangming Ribao, Renmin Ribao, South China Morning Post, Summary of World Broadcasts (BBC), Xinhua, and Internet editions of various international newspapers. The chronicle is of considerable help for researchers who work on contemporary relations between the EU and China.


V. Publications

The East-West Dialogue

 The ECP publishes the East-West Dialogue series. This is a bilingual publication programme (English-Chinese) taking the form of a series of essays or monographs contributed by Chinese and Western scholars, with the main focus on Europe-China relations.

Editor: Richard Balme.  Editorial Board: Bernard Cassen (University of Paris VIII), CHAN Kwok Bun (Hong Kong Baptist University), Cheng Chung-ying (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Murray Forsyth (University of Leicester), Adrian Hsia (McGill University), Peter Opitz (University of Munich), Karl-Heinz Pohl (University of Trier), Herbert Tsang (Hong Kong Baptist University), Ting Wai (Hong Kong Baptist University), Herbert Yee (Hong Kong Baptist University),

Distributor: David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong,

EAST-WEST DIALOGUE welcomes the submission of manuscripts on all aspects of Sino-Western, in particular Sino-European relations. Papers may be written in English or Chinese. They should not exceed 8,000 words in length, including any tables, figures and footnotes. The abstract should be about 300 words. The papers should be submitted on a floppy disk accompanied by a printout. The editors reserve the right not to publish submitted papers. The views expressed in East-West Dialogue are the responsibility of the authors.

Already published

.  Documentation
Library Collections

To conduct effective research on Europe and Chinese-European relations it was necessary to establish a comprehensive database on the European Union. The University has been granted HK$ 1.2 million from the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong for the purchase of approx. 2,000 items (books, CD-ROMS) on the European Union. This increased the inventories on the EU at HKBU by more than 100%. Together with the European Documentation Centre, HKBU thus has the largest database and library collection on the EU in the region and in China. The ECP is currently building up a collection of all Chinese publications on the European Union.


The European Documentation Centre

The GIS Department has since 1996 played host to the European Documentation Centre (EDC). In contrast to other depositories in the region, the EDC at HKBU is a community-oriented service centre open to the general public. It contains important official documents and other relevant materials on the European Union and provides information for the business and legal sectors as well as academic institutions and individuals on request. The EDC at HKBU is thus the only organisation in the region to which companies, agencies and scholars have unlimited access for information on the EU. The inventory is financed entirely by the European Union.

The EDC at GIS has thus become an information service centre for both Hong Kong and China. It is the only institution on Chinese soil that can provide unrestricted information about the EU.