Stockholm Observatory for Global China

Stockholm Observatory for Global China

The Stockholm Observatory for Global China is an independent research network dedicated to questions arising in relation to China’s growing global footprint.

China is the world’s second largest economy. Its rapid economic growth has come with rising levels of outward investments and foreign trade. This has been coupled with a proactive foreign policy, currently embodied in President Xi Jinping’s signature project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global vision alluding to the ancient Silk Roads which connected Asia and Europe for centuries.

The Chinese state has strengthened its engagement with multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation. It has also created new institutions, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China is increasingly present in distant regions such as the Arctic.

The People’s Liberation Army, meanwhile, has continued to expand its capabilities and international presence. As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, China’s approach to climate change and environmental degradation will be critical to tackle challenges related to sustainable development.

In early 2018 the Stockholm Observatory for Global China (previously Stockholm Belt and Road Observatory) was established to better understand China’s ascent as a global actor and what it means for Sweden. The Observatory is an independent network which gathers nearly 30 experts from Swedish institutions and organisations. Beyond bringing together researchers and analysts, it serves as a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing for actors in government, civil society and the business sector.

The membership of the Stockholm Observatory for Global China is made up my individuals who regularly conduct research of high quality on questions related to China’s global footprint and have a professional connection to Sweden. New members are admitted on the basis of their proven expertise, as well as on their interest in and ability to contributing to the observatory. If you have an interest in joining the network, please contact the coordinator Alina Engström.

The Observatory's new “Global China Series” – with podcasts, video interviews and open seminars – runs throughout 2019 to explore China’s growing global footprint and its impact across the world. 

Selected publications from members of the network.

Previous activities

Towards a Swedish China strategy

Seminar on 1 July, 2019

In the second seminar of the Global China Series, State Secretary Annika Söder of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs joined Observatory members to explore the strategic dimensions of Sweden’s approach to China.

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China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Towards a New International Order?

Seminar at UI, 9 May 2019

The first seminar of the Global China Series explored whether the BRI is reshaping international order and challenging established practices, especially those related to technological standardisation and loans provided to developing countries. 

More information

Driving Sustainability within Belt and Road Projects

Observatory member Karl Hallding participated in a panel discussion on the sustainability of BRI projects.

To the panel discussion

Security implications of China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road

Seminar at SIPRI, 12 September 2018

Observatory members Richard Ghiasy and Björn Jerdén participated in a panel discussion on the recently published SIPRI and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) report The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road: Security Implications and Ways Forward.

To the seminar

Making Sense of China’s Belt and Road Initiative: What’s at Stake for Sweden and Europe?

The UI Podcast, 4 June 2018

Launch seminar at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs with Åsa Malmström Rognes, Björn Jerdén, Jiayi Zhou, Jerker Hellström, Mikael Weissmann and Viking Bohman.

Listen to the seminar

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Europe-China Relations – The Role of Political Values

Seminar at UI, 5 February 2019

At the launch of a new report from the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC), Observatory members Nicola Nymalm, Tim Rühlig and Viking Bohman discussed questions related to European China policy and Chinese influence on political values in Europe.

More information

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