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China Competence Centre



In the European Commission's latest strategic documents, China is described as a "co-operation and negotiating partner, economic competitor and systemic rival". While co-operation with China is intense and valued in many areas, concerns about China's motives for co-operation, growing awareness of the risks of dependency and US pressure on Europe in the context of US policy on China-US rivalry have contributed to more recent discussions on how Europe should position itself vis-à-vis China. Corresponding discussions, lobbying and political debates are increasingly focussing on the area of scientific and technological cooperation as well as cooperation between European research institutes and universities with China.


Against this background, this conference invited the 39 member universities of the COIMBRA group to learn about the state of the discussion on EU-China relations, to share their experiences with the relevant national and EU policies, and to discuss ways to enable universities to continue co-operation with China while avoiding the risks involved.


On 29 February and 1 March, 65 participants gathered in Würzburg and a further 25 interested parties gathered online to share their experiences of cooperation with partners in the People's Republic of China at this conference. Scientists and research support staff from Salamanca to Turku travelled to Würzburg to attend this two-day conference in the Burkardushaus. After the welcome address by the President of JMU, Prof. Dr Paul Pauli, four panels were held with contributions on (1) developments in EU-China relations, (2) developments in science diplomacy between China and Europe, (3) national strategies in university cooperation with China and (4) approaches at European universities. The content of these panels was provided by eminent experts in these fields, including Maria Cristina Russo, Director of International Cooperation at the European Commission. The CCCUW would like to thank all speakers for their active participation in the conference!


On 1 March (day 2 of the conference), the participants then worked in small groups to record the most relevant and formative findings of the previous day. Posters were produced that will provide important reference points for the elaboration of the conference results in the areas of science, science policy and studies. Based on the results, the CCCUW, in collaboration with the Coimbra Group, will produce a policy brief that will be distributed among the 39 members and can also be submitted to the EU.

On behalf of the Julius Maximilians University and the Coimbra Group, the CCCUW would like to thank all participants for the exciting and positive discussions! We look forward to future conferences on the topic of co-operation with China on a European level.

On 12 January 2024, the CCCUW organised the first 'China Day' at Julius Maximilians University as part of the Case Study Seminar in the China Business and Economics degree programme. Held in room 00.006 of the Graduate School, the China Day offered talented students with hobbies associated with China a platform to share their skills with others. The planning phase resulted in four workshops:


We will first briefly introduce Chinese calligraphy and then practise "龍" and "福" together. After practising, we will write the character on red paper to make it your little artwork from this workshop. You can then take it home with you as a souvenir.

Tea Ceremony

Join us for the "China Day Tea Ceremony Workshop". Immerse yourself in the rich history of tea, discover different varieties and experience a traditional tea ceremony. Don't miss out on this unique cultural experience!

Kong Fu

Discover the fascinating world of Kung Fu and experience the powerful fusion of art and combat! Not only an effective form of self-defence, but also a unique way to strengthen body and mind. Immerse yourself in the centuries-old Chinese martial arts tradition and experience the physical and mental discipline that characterises Kung Fu.

Paper Cutting

Chinese paper art embodies cultural narratives and expresses themes of happiness, prosperity and cultural motifs that have remained constant throughout the centuries. Join us on this impressive journey into the heart of Chinese art tradition. Whether you are a beginner or an enthusiast, this workshop promises to be a captivating experience, fostering creativity and an appreciation for the artistry embedded in each meticulous cut!

At the end of the day, a photo competition (winning picture below) was held with the best pictures of the participants from China and Chinese dumplings were prepared. These were of course eaten afterwards.

The CCCUW would like to thank the students of the Case Study Seminar for the excellent organisation, the participants for their enjoyment and commitment during the workshops and the Graduate School for the facilities! We look forward to more China Days in the future!