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Participants of Russian-Chinese Summer School on International Affairs Tackle Trade, International Institutions, and More

On Thursday, July 11, students and faculty of the International Russian-Chinese Summer School on International Affairs bid farewell with a festive awards ceremony and closing lecture by Professor Sergey Karaganov, Academic Supervisor and Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs.

The 2019 session was held from July 4-11 at the HSE Faculty of World Economy and World Politics together with master’s students and faculty of East China Normal University (Shanghai, China). HSE University hosts the School in cooperation with East China Normal University (ECNU) with support from the Gorchakov Fund Public Diplomacy Fund. The summer school annually brings together undergraduates, master’s students and faculty members from HSE’s Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs and the ECNU School of Advanced International and Area Studies to explore key issues affecting Russian-Chinese relations in a hands-on format.

A Week of Lectures, Case Studies, and Group Project Work

This year’s theme was ‘Fighting Protectionism and Promoting Diversity in the Changing Political Landscape.’ Students analysed, debated, and proposed possible solutions to issues related to the global world order in an era in which isolationism is gaining popularity in the US and Western Europe, and the global economy and political landscape is shifting more and more towards Asia. Over the course of the week, students examined case studies and broke up into small project groups to explore issues such as the US-China trade war, the green economy, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Chinese investment abroad, and more.

Along with professors and instructors from HSE University and East China Normal University, leading Russian and Chinese experts, representatives of state and international organizations, and international companies led gave lectures and led discussions with students of the school. Shaolei Feng, Dean of the ECNU School of Advanced International and Area Studies, Alexey Kupriyanov, Research Fellow of the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Bin Yu, Professor of Political Science, Wittenberg University (Ohio, USA) were among the numerous invited speakers.


Farewell Ceremony

On the final day of the programme, students and faculty gathered for a farewell lecture by Professor Sergey Karaganov, Academic Supervisor and Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs and former presidential advisor to both Presidents Yeltsin and Putin. His lecture, entitled ‘The Military and Political Foundations of the Shift in Global Geoeconomics’, gave a candid reflection upon the past 500 years of world history and the roles of the West, Russia, and China within it. He emphasized the importance of Russian-Chinese cooperation in preventing further polarization of the world and building a new world order.

After a lively question and answer session, Professor Huasheng Zhao, Director of the Center for SCO Studies at Fudan University (Shanghai, China) and Associate Professor Anastasia Likhacheva of HSE University presented awards and certificates of acknowledgement to the students. In congratulating the students on a fruitful week, Professor Zhao noted the importance of international dialogue, saying that it not only helps one learn more about the other culture, but one’s own. ‘Learning different traditions and ideas is important,’ he said. ‘I often take what I’ve learned and apply it to my own culture.’

 ‘I hope that you sustain this energy you have for knowledge and new projects,’ Anastasia Likhacheva said. ‘Never get too tired to become amazing. Because if you remain as bright and dedicated as you were this week, you will be able to do anything—in Russia and in China and beyond.’

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

Xu Weixin, China, East China Normal University

‘One of the most interesting parts of the summer school for me was our project discussions. In the project discussions, we worked in groups on a given topic, so we heard ideas and views about current issues that were sometimes very controversial, such as the US-China trade war, for example. It was really interesting to hear different points of view from people with different backgrounds. And during that process we really enjoyed brainstorming different approaches or solutions and coming to a consensus.

‘At the same time, while we discussed these more academic topics, we also talked about daily life in Moscow and daily life in Shanghai—what a normal day consists of, what we do in our free time—and that was really interesting, too. And actually, I remember a professor who gave a presentation on public diplomacy, and it made me think about how we ourselves are engaging in public diplomacy. I think it is a good thing when young people of major world powers develop relationships with each other.’

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

Diane Fararoni, Mexico, East China Normal University

‘I am in my first year of the master’s programme in international relations at East China Normal University. Before coming here, I can’t say that Russia was something I thought about on a daily basis. So this has been a great opportunity. We covered a wide range of topics: the green economy, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, potential crises of international institutions, Chinese investment in Germany, and China’s relationship with high tech… I’ve now learned a lot about Russia first-hand, and my experience here will certainly enrich my future studies in international relations.’

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

Deniza Berezovskaya, Russia, HSE University - Moscow

I’m from HSE University, and I’ve just completed my first year as an undergraduate student here. I study international relations and economics. I came to this summer school, because I thought it would contribute to my knowledge and skills. Also, I’m learning Chinese, so it’s really interesting to see how Chinese participants react and ask questions. I really enjoyed our project discussions, because, working in small groups, we not only collaborated on an academic level, but on a personal level as well. Some of the topics were completely new to me. For example, my group’s topic was the green economy. Before this school, I had never read any books or articles about it, and now I know a lot about it.

It was also great to be a part of cooperation between our two countries. I think that the young generations should be aware of problems of their time, so that they can maybe work together and solve them in the future. So that’s why this summer school is really helpful for all the participants here representing different countries (mostly China and Russia, of course).

300 Alumni and Counting

Approaching its tenth year, the School already has a robust alumni community. In her closing remarks to the participants, Anastasia Likhacheva noted, ‘Next year we’re going to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the School. We’ll be happy to host you again next year as we mark this occasion and really push our school to a new level, and I hope that you will be an active part of the alumni of this school. We have more than 300 alumni members and some of them are already experts working in international relations. We’re very happy to see how they grow and become more and more active and successful in the field.’

Students who are interested in participating in next year’s summer session are encouraged to check for updates on the School page.


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