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Wu Shicun visits Halifax for Academic Exchanges

2019-09-30 08:53:25       source:NISCSS

From 22 to 26 September 2019, a NISCSS delegation headed by President Wu Shicun visited Halifax for academic exchanges.


On 24-25 September 2019, NISCSS scholars attended the 7th Asia-Pacific/Arctic Maritime Security Forum held in Halifax, co-organized by the NISCSS, China Institute at the University of Alberta (CIUA), Institute for China-America Studies (ICAS) and Marine & Environmental Law Institute (MELAW) of Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University (Dal). The Forum is an institutionalized platform initiated by the NISCSS and CIUA in 2011 for sustained dialogue and wisdom pooling in the field of maritime security and ocean governance of the Asia Pacific and the Arctic. This year’s forum addressed various issues of common concerns including regional security, dispute settlement, environmental protection, law enforcement, capacity building, and ocean governance practice and models. Co-chaired by Dr. Wu and CIUA Director Gordon Houlden, it brought together about 60 maritime scholars, experts and practitioners from China, Canada, the United States, Australia, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and more. Dr. Wu spoke as a panelist at the session on capacity building of ocean governance, so do other NISCSS scholars such as assistant president Yang Li, research assistant fellows Dr. Ding Duo and Zhang Xinyue who spoke at different session panels.


In his remarks at the opening, Dr. Wu briefly reviewed the development of the Forum in the previous years, and he expects more bilateral cooperation between China and Canada to be achieved in ocean governance through institutionalized track II dialogue and exchanges. Regarding the situation of the South China Sea, he pointed out that the US Indo-Pacific strategy intends to force regional countries of the South China Sea to take sides amid an escalating China-US rivalry. And this strategy may inflict an undesirable impact on the efforts of China and ASEAN countries to develop a rules-based international order, and make the South China Sea a main theater of geo-political competition between major powers. The military competition between China and the US will further increase, which may become a critical factor affecting the situation in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, given that the South China Sea disputes may not be resolved soon, and negative factors driving down regional situation are likely to persist, maritime cooperation and joint resources development between China and regional countries will continue to face daunting obstacles.


On September 23 and 26, President Wu visited various think tanks, universities and research institutes in Halifax, such as the International Ocean Institute-Canada (IOI-Canada), Saint Mary’s University (SMU) and its School of Business, and Dal Schulich School of Law. In the morning of September 23, Dr. Wu met with director Mike Butler, chairman of the board Professor Daniel Lane, as well as senior research fellows including Drs. Peter Wells and Sean Brillant at the IOI-Canada. The two sides exchanged views on the achievement of bilateral collaboration on the China-ASEAN Academy on Ocean Law and Governance in the past four years and the future development of the Academy. They also discussed and explored joint research proposals in various fields such as ocean heath assessment and report, climate change adaptation, and best practice of marine biological conservation. In the afternoon, Dr. Wu met with Robert Summerby-Murray, SMU President and Vice Chancellor, and Colin Dodds, President Emeritus and Director of Master of Finance Program respectively at the SMU. The two sides exchanged views on China-Canada exchanges and cooperation in education and humanity, as well challenges of climate change and water security. Professor Bill Bu, SMU senior advisor on China affairs, and Dr. Lu Youyu, research scientist of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography were present at the meeting.


On September 16, a close-door roundtable was held at the Dal Schulich School of Law. Apart from NISCSS delegation, several eminent scholars from Dal also participated to the roundtable including Phillip Saunders, professor of law and director of MELAW, Aldo Chircop, professor of law and Canada research chair in maritime law and policy (tier 1), Brian Flemming, former principal secretary and policy advisor to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and honorary fellow of MELAW. The two sides held in-depth discussions on various issues of mutual concern, such as Canada’s Arctic policy, China’s presence in the Arctic, the South China Sea arbitration and legal challenges that China faces in the South China Sea.


Dr. Wu will continue his academic visit at Halifax with MELAW till October 4, 2019.