Bratislava, Slovakia—On the occasion of International Day of Peace 2020, UPF organized a presentation titled “China Raising Respect, Fears and Doubts.”
The main speaker at the online meeting on September 21 was the famous journalist and international security expert Igor Cibula, PhD.
Our hope to meet friends and supporters in a public conference hall, after six months of quarantine restrictions, had to be postponed once more. Though we had no experience to make an online conference, we needed to risk it. With the help of a young IT expert, we prepared equipment that would allow the audience to link up with a live transmission. We used mailings as well as advertisements on Facebook and Twitter to invite guests.
Dr. Cibula’s presentation, with 28 slides, was diverse and enlightening. He included elements from history as well as recent developments, such as China’s efforts to overtake the United States as the superior world power, the nuclear arsenal sizes, the ambivalent relationship with Taiwan, border disputes with India, the strategic cargo route from western China to Gwadar Port in Pakistan, the strategic constraints in China’s maritime frontier, and more.
Dr. Cibula recommended the book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’ Trap? by Graham T. Allison as a must-read for anyone interested.
In a question-and-answer session after Dr. Cibula’s presentation, one guest asked which attitude and measures Europe should take in face of China’s authoritarian politics and human rights issues. Dr. Cibula said that perhaps Singapore could serve as an example for the course China could take in the future.
UPF-Slovakia President Miloš Klas also showed the recent UPF introduction video, and he invited the participants to join the online One Million Rally of Hope on September 27.
Actually, the online presentation was advantageous because it made it possible for people to join our discussion from a distance. Other participants were glad because of fear of COVID-19.