How can Chinese civil society organizations contribute to international peace and security? Liu Jingqin, Vice-President of the Chinese People´s Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD) and former Vice-Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the CPC, discussed this question in Berlin with representatives from government agencies and selected think tanks. He addressed the relevance of civil society organizations for Chinese foreign policy, as well as questions of nuclear disarmament and regional security.
In his statement Liu Jingqin emphasized the importance of international cooperation within the framework of “peaceful development” and the “harmonious world”. One participant remarked, however, that the perception of many Chinese neighbors differs remarkably: China’s rise is often regarded as a threat to regional security. Liu pointed out that dialogue and civil society exchange are key aspects in reducing regional tensions. On the topic of nuclear disarmament, a member of the Chinese delegation stressed the necessary prerequisites for any negotiations with regard to China’s nuclear potential: The United States and Russia would need to take the first steps towards a significant reduction of their nuclear force while at the same time also committing themselves to a no-first-use policy.
Liu Jingqin was accompanied by a delegation of the CPAPD. According to official information, the CPAPD is the largest national peace organization in China. It cooperates with numerous NGOs and research institutions worldwide. In close collaboration with Chinese academics and experts, CPAPD is also attempting to contribute to research and analysis in the areas of peace, security, disarmament, and sustainable development. Over the course of the discussion it became obvious that the understanding of civil society organizations continues to differ significantly between China and Europe.
Körber Foundation regularly invites a small circle of high-ranking actors within Berlin’s foreign policy community to its Political Background Discussions. As in the Bergedorf Round Tables, the discussions take place shielded from the public, so as to enable a confidential, frank, and constructive exchange.