30-year anniversary event of FES Shanghai

Event: Regional and International Affairs

Along with the change of its resident director, FES Shanghai on October 26th celebrated its 30th anniversary with many friends and close partners. The overarching topic of the evening was “Building Europe - Options and challenges for Sino-European cooperation”.

Photo: Peter Rothen, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany

30 years ago, one year after the ground-breaking 1984 meeting of PRC leader Deng Xiaoping and former German Chancellor Willy Brandt, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), one of the oldest political foundations in Germany, established a project office in Shanghai. Since 1985 the FES in Shanghai is a close partner of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) as well as numerous other institutions in Shanghai. It aims at making a contribution to the Sino-German and Sino-European relations by upholding the various dialogues between them.

On October 26th, FES Shanghai celebrated both the change of its resident director and its 30th anniversary. The topic of the evening was “Building Europe – Options and challenges for Sino-European cooperation”. Speakers were Peter Rothen (Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany), Prof. Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin (former Federal Minister of Justice), Prof. Dr. Chen Dongxiao (President of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies), Catrina Schläger (former Resident Director of FES Shanghai) and Stefan Pantekoek (Resident Director of FES Shanghai).

Photo: Herta Däubler-Gmelin, former German Minister of Justice

In a short introduction, Catrina Schläger emphasized that it was a privilege of having worked with FES’ Chinese partners for over three years in a trusting and friendly atmosphere. In his opening remarks Mr. Rothen talked about his appreciation of FES’ work and praised the resulting cooperation between China and Germany. Prof. Dr. Chen Dongxiao then emphasized that while the Sino-European relationship had achieved much, the Sino-German relationship had grown closer than ever before. Although China and Germany were in different phases regarding industrial development, China however could learn and benefit from German experiences and concepts. FES Shanghai, he continued, had already made many positive contributions in that direction in the last 30 years.

In her speech Prof. Dr. Däubler-Gmelin conveyed the congratulations of Sigmar Gabriel, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), who highlighted that since the meeting of Willy Brandt and Deng Xiaoping an intensive dialogue between the SPD and the Communist Party of China was established, characterized by trust and openness. It is clear, he further explained, that the dialogue between the parties would not have been possible without the extensive and intensive support of FES. Prof. Dr. Däubler-Gmelin then underlined the importance of the relations between China and Germany on the one hand and between China and Europe on the other given the common challenges in today’s globalized world. She stressed that this kind of close cooperation was instrumental to secure a good future and boost innovation, both in Germany and China. She concluded her speech by expressing her happiness about the close working relationship between FES and its Chinese partners over the past 30 years and said that she hoped for this to continue in the future.

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