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Understanding Asia 2018

From February 12-16, the Fudan-European Centre for China Studies along with NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and Nansen Academy co-arranged the 2018 Understanding Asia course, which took place at Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway.
Held annually since 2013, the course features five days of lectures and activities to provide participants with a deeper understanding of the cultural, political, and economic elements shaping today’s Asia.

Geir Helgesen gave a lecture entitled ‘Culture and politics, an introduction to (North) Korea’.  Here he mapped the landscapes of the political cultures of “the two Koreas” which, although often seen as in opposition, has deeply rooted similarities due to their common history. He also hosted a meeting at Nansen Academy under the title ‘North Korea – a threat to world peace or a convenient enemy? Uncomfortable questions and controversial answers’. The meeting was open for participation for all interested, and served as an introduction to the present-day conflict on the Korean peninsula. Geir Helgesen offered an analysis of the situation and suggested that consistent dialogue with North Korea is the most feasible option for a solution of the conflict.

Chunrong Liu gave two lectures, addressing China’s perspective on the tensions on the Korean Peninsula and Chinese politics in the “New Era”. On Korea nuclear affairs, he invited a deep thinking about the root cause and the discussion about “who has the key”.  He showed how China has been involved in the mediation process with the initiative of the Six Party Talk, and explained China’s priorities of peace, stability and dialogue, as well as the possibility to avoid a war in a “dark forest”.  In the second lecture, he analyzed China’s domestic politics – new dynamics associated with the 19th CPC national congress.  He showed the continuities and “paradoxical developments” of Chinese politics, which features both power recentralization and the new political spaces that are necessary for the implementation of national policy schemes of poverty reduction and eco-civilization. 

Finally, professor dr. Song Xinning, Jean Monnet Chair ad personam and China director of BACES – Brussels Academy for China and European Studies gave a lecture on EU-China relations under the title ‘EU-China strategic partnership under the new leadership’.  He characterized EU and China as partners in terms of economy (trade and investment), global governance, development and culture, and argued that while both EU and China has benefitted from their mutual cooperation, deepening the relations between the two will prove beneficial for both parties. He also argued that the change in leadership in China has produced a “new thinking” of EU-China relations, which differs from past strategies in terms of its style, preference and policy. This thinking is guided by Xi Jinping’s “three two” understanding of the nature of EU-China relations: two forces for global peace, two markets for world economy, and two origins of world civilization.  

Following the conclusion of Understanding Asia, Geir Helgesen and Kasper Ørntoft Thor met with representatives from Nansen Academy, including rector Unn Irene Aasdalen, to discuss and plan for the 2018 NEWDAY summer school.

NEWDAY 2018 will take place 7-17 August of this year and will soon be open for applications from potential participants. It will feature lectures by prominent scholars, journalists and politicians for students to learn about and debate core issues of our time. For more information, visit

NEWDAY is arranged by NIAS, Fudan Centre and Nansen Academy with the support of Nordic Council of Ministers.

Chunrong Liu, Geir Helgesen, and Unn Irene Aasdalen

Call for papers

Global Young Scholars Conference

“China and the World:Development · Governance · Security”
May 24-25, 2018 | Fudan University

Organizers: Fudan Development Institute (FDDI) and Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China.

Fudan Development Institute (FDDI), based at Fudan University, is calling for paper submissions from young scholars – PhD students up to associate professors– throughout FDDI’s international network all over the world. Applicant must be or under 45 years of age. The conference will take place May 24-25, 2018 at Fudan University.

If you would like to present a paper at the conference, please send your submission (3,000-5,000 words in English) as well as your CV to Ms. JIANG Huaxia ( by March 16, 2018. You will be notified by March 30, 2018 if your paper has been selected for presentation.

Learn more on by clicking here.

Comparative perspectives on the transformation of religious space in China

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 14:00

The Fudan-European Centre for China Studies is pleased to invite you to a lecture on the transformation of religious space in China.

For this event, we are joined by professors Fan Lizhu and Chen Na of Fudan University and Mikkel Bunkenborg from the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies of UCPH who will be sharing their reserearch findings on the transformation of religion and religious space in contemporary China.

Time: Wednesday 31 January 2018, 14:00-15:30
Place: NIAS meeting room (18.1.08) at Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K

The event is open to all, but please register by 29 January to

For abstracts and more information, please click here

Event: The 19th Party Congress and its Impact

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 10:00 to 13:00

On 11 December 2017, the Fudan-European Centre in collaboration with NIAS-Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, the University of Copenhagen and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Kingdom of Denmark was proud to host a delegation of central political figures from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The delegation was headed by Mr. Li Shulei 李书磊, Deputy Secretary at the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China - a central figure in the ongoing battle against corruption in China. Before being appointed to this position in January 2017, Mr. Li served as Fujian province’s publicity department chief, and has previously served as the vice-president of CPC's Central Party School.

Denmark marked the final destination of the delegation, who paid a visit to Finland and Switzerland prior to their visit at the University of Copenhagen. The purpose of their visit was to engage in dialogue with scholars and policy makers on the dynamics associated with the recently concluded CPC 19th National Party Congress.

The event was an exceptional opportunity for those interested in Chinese politics and the anti-corruption campaign to gain some insights on the matter first-hand from one of the core figures with these fields. For this occasion, the Fudan Centre was proud to bring together the delegation and scholars working on China and Chinese politics. Attendants included scholars from the University of Copenhagen, NIAS-Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, DIIS-Danish Institute of International Studies, and Aarhus University, as well as attendants from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Kingdom of Denmark.

The event also featured a public lecture, where Mr. Li delivered a talk on his thoughts on key policy agendas in China following the 19th Party Congress. Professor Li Wentang, dean of the faculty of humanities at CPC Central Party School shared his perspectives on the notion of a 'community of shared future for mankind', which is one of the keywords of China's foreign policy.

Following the two sessions, Mr. Li Shulei, along with Ambassador Deng Ying, was greeted by Thomas Bjørnholm, prorector of the University of Copenhagen, for an informal conversation on China-related research cooperation.

For the remainder of their visit to Denmark, the delegation was among other things scheduled to meet with The Danish Parliamentary Ombudsmand to discuss practices of political transparency.

For notifications on similar events, please write an email to Kasper Thor.

Fudan-UCPH seminar on Chinese history and historical writing

Monday, October 23, 2017 - 13:30

Seminar on Chinese history and historical writing
23rd October



13:30:           Welcome and opening remarks

Geir Helgesen, Director, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

Chunrong Liu, Executive Vice Director, Fudan-European Centre for China Studies



Jin Guangyao, Professor, Department of History, Fudan University:
"The history of 1968 in China: Red guard movement revisited"



Oscar Salemink, Professor, Department of Anthropology, UCPH:
“The rise of China as seen through the contemporary art world: a preliminary report on the Global Europe project. ”



Peter Fibiger Bang, Associate Professor, SAXO-Institute, UCPH:
“Empire in World History – beyond the postcolonial moment”







--- Short coffee break ---



Ayo Wahlberg, Professor, Department of Anthropology, UCPH:
“VITAL – ongoing research project”



Li Jianming, Professor of History, Fudan University:
"Toward a New History: European Historians and the Transformations of Chinese Historical Writing Since the 1980s"



Gao Xi, Professor of History and Medical History, Fudan University:
"A Global Journey of the Manchu Anatomy"



Discussion and concluding remarks    


16:30-           Reception with beverages and light snacks



The event is open to all, but please register with Kasper Ørntoft Thor at with name and affiliation.


NEWDAY - the Nansen East-West Dialogue Academy in Lillehammer 4-14 July 2017

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 to Friday, July 14, 2017
Creating better relations by seeking mutual understanding and harmony in diversity

In July 2017, 55 students from East Asia and the Nordic countries gathered for a 10-days summer course: NEWDAY - the Nansen East-West Dialogue Academy in Lillehammer, Norway. With NEWDAY, we offered students from East Asia and the Nordic region the chance to meet and engage with each other and with top scholars and political leaders on some of the most pressing issues the world faces today.
Towards a Dialogue
We defined key challenges in the 21st century’s global society and engaged relevant approaches and core concepts, theories and methods to deal with the present and prepare for the future.
Our program aimed at promoting better mutual understanding and foster harmonious relations between people East and West and between our future leaders. Through workshops and discussions we identified common challenges, explored the root causes of problems and provided creative solutions with cultural sensitivity. This work was conducted in a spirit of cross-cultural dialogue and consensus building.
We cooperated with leading universities from eight countries, and with the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat in Seoul as well as with the Nordic Council of Ministers in Copenhagen. The event was further supported by the Fudan-European Centre for China Studies, NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and the Nansen Academy.  
To learn more about speakers, the programme, and much more, go to the website:
More information is also available in the attached brochure

Book Launch "Northern Lights at Peach Flower Hill - A Norwegian Family in love with China"

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 15:30

"Northern Lights at Peach Flower Hill - A Norwegian Family in love with China"
by Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General, Nordic Council of Ministers.

Host: Fudan Development Institute, Nordic Centre, Fudan University
Time: 26 May 2017, 15:30
Venue: Think Tank building, Room 404, Fudan University

15:30-15:40            Opening Remarks
Gui Yongzha            Vice President Fudan University
15:40-17:00            The Story Behind the Story
Dagfinn Høybråten   Author of the Book, Secretary General, Nordic Council of Minister
Liu Chunrong           Executive Vice Director, Fuda-European Centre for China Studies
Qian Yimin              Archives of Fudan University
Zeng Yuehong         President, Yi Yang Center Hospital
Yan Zhiyuan            Dr. Yen Fuching's grandson, Associated Professor, Shangahi Medical College,                                 Fudan University

Fudan Center and NIAS hosted a delegation headed by Prof. Yonghao Gui, Vice President of Fudan University and discussed cross-disciplinary research on public health

On March 26, 2017, Fudan Center and NIAS hosted a visiting delegation headed by the Vice President of Fudan University, Prof. Yonghao Gui. The delegation also includes Prof. Ming-Wei Wang (Dean, School of Pharmacy at Fudan), Dr. Hong Lan (Assistant Professor, School of Pharmacy at Fudan).

The visitors met with Geir Helgesen and Chunrong Liu and explored the ideas and potentials for Fudan-Nordic research collaboration on the sociocultural dimensions of public health.  Geir and Chunrong briefed the delegation of the function of NIAS and the Fudan Center’s approach of cooperation. The idea to incorporate health and human security as a thematic area for cross-border research engagement in the Fudan Center’s new strategy was also encouraged and supported by VP Gui.  In Prof. Ming-Wei Wang’s word, “social science and humanities matter to the studies of public health in any context, in particular Chinese societies.  We are looking forward to using Fudan Center as a tool and working with our Nordic partners to strengthen our cross-disciplinary research ties and generate real insights for public health”. 

The Fudan delegation was a combined visit to Copenhagen and Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. In Copenhagen, they attended the Sino-Danish Regulatory Science Center Second Joint Meeting held at the University of Copenhagen and discussed a number of major research and education projects sponsored by Novo Nordisk, hoping to expand bilateral and multilateral co-operations in the years to come.


Fudan-European Centre for China Studies extends its contract for another 4 years

Laying a New Milestone

Fudan President Xu Ningsheng visited Copenhagen University and extended the contract of Fudan-European Centre for China Studies for a second term.
From 23rd to 24th of November, 2016, Professor Xu Ningsheng, President of Fudan University visited University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and extended the contract of Fudan-European Centre for China Studies for a second term of four years (2017-2021).  His visit was accompanied by Dr. Zhu Chouwen, director of Fudan Foreign Affairs Office, Prof. Chen Wen, dean of School of Public Health, Dr. Zhang Yi, executive dean of Fudan Development Institute (FDDI) and Prof. Liu Jiping from School of International Relations and Public Affair. The delegation was well received at UCPH and the visit has created a new chapter for Fudan Center and generated new dynamics for Fudan-UCPH collaboration.

On the 26th to 27th of September 2016, the Fudan-UCPH Welfare Development in the 21st Century: Comparing Chinese and Danish Experiences was held at Fudan University, Shanghai.


The workshop was co-organized by the School of Social Development and Public Policy (SSDPP) at Fudan University and Department of Sociology at the University of Copenhagen. The Fudan-European Center for China Studies at the University of Copenhagen facilitated and co-organized this event.  “This is an opportunities for both sides. I think we have taken an important first step towards collaboration between our two departments.” said Janus Hansen, Head of Department of Sociology at UCPH.

The workshop addressed critical challenges facing Chinese and Danish societies in a globalized context. According to Chunrong Liu, co-director Fudan Center, “Both societies are confronted with a changing social contract, leading to evolving conditions in gender, education, elderly care, and social welfare broadly defined. There is a growing demand for understanding these transformations from a comparative perspective.

Bringing together Fudan-UCPH scholars within the sociology discipline, many of the papers in the workshop show interesting implications of and solutions for the social challenges facing both Denmark and China. Prof. Cheng Yuan, vice dean of SSDPP, said that “the exchange of perspectives from the Fudan-UCPH scholars can deepen the understanding of these social challenges, which are arguably interconnected and comparable.”

The workshop was structured on several panels dealing with a rich variety of issues: gender and family relations, welfare and social protection, and education challenges. Prof. Mads Meier Jæger of UCPH and Prof. Chen Feinan of Fudan University delivered keynote speech entitled Cultural Capital, Teacher Bias, and Educational Success: New Evidence from Monozygotic Twins, and Double Burden for Women in Mid and Later Life: Evidence from Time Use Profiles in Philippines respectively. In Prof. Jæger’s lecture, he  presented his findings from using data on Danish monozygotic (MZ) twins to analyze the effect of cultural capital in multiple contexts on educational success in Denmark; in Prof. Chen Feinan’s keynote, using data from the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey he employed latent class analysis to develop time use class membership to characterize the degree to which women in Cebu, Philippines are subject to the double burden of work and family responsibilities in mid and later life.

The workshop was concluded with a roundtable discussion on the prospects and challenges of sociological comparisons between China and Denmark as well as a discussion on the future development of the Fudan-Copenhagen collaboration.