UD professors Ivan Sun (left) and Jianguo Chen participated in the recent Salzburg Global Seminar focusing on China's rise as a superpower. It was held at the historic Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria.

Salzburg Fellows

UD experts on China participate in Salzburg Global Seminar


3:58 p.m., Dec. 14, 2012--With an economy currently second only to the United States, it’s no longer a question of “if” or “when” China will rise as a world power, but what kind of superpower China will be, experts say.

Two University of Delaware faculty were among 50 leaders worldwide selected to participate in the session “China in the 21st Century: What Kind of World Power?” hosted by the prestigious Salzburg Global Seminar, Dec. 4–9, in picturesque Salzburg, Austria. 

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Jianguo Chen, associate professor of Chinese and director of the Confucius Institute at UD, and Ivan Sun, professor of sociology and criminal justice, joined experts from five continents to consider China’s future. 

The Salzburg Global Seminar is a non-governmental organization founded in 1947 that seeks “to challenge present and future leaders to solve issues of global concern.” The organization selects “imaginative thinkers” around the globe to engage in candid discussions during weeklong programs at the Schloss Leopoldskron, the rococo palace that inspired a number of settings in The Sound of Music.

Chen and Sun received Salzburg Global Seminar Presidential Fellowships, supported by UD’s Institute for Global Studies (IGS) and the Office of the Provost, to attend the session. 

“Their research and scholarship, engagement in campus activities relevant to China and teaching from a global perspective made Professors Chen and Sun a perfect match to participate in these important discussions,” said Amy Johnson, IGS faculty fellow and director of global exchange.

In seven plenary-led discussions and 12 hours of intensive group work over four days, the global thinkers discussed such topics as how the recent change in leadership in China will affect the country’s presence on the world stage, to China’s investment in developing economies such as Africa. 

The session was led by Edward Mortimer, former director of communications to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and by China expert Isabel Hilton.

“The Salzburg Global Seminar has provided me with an opportunity to examine China’s perception of itself in relation to the international community’s perception of China in terms of what kind of power it will be over the next 10 years and beyond,” Chen said. “Discussions with the seminar fellows from around the world have deepened my understanding of issues and problems China is facing as it advances into a future of opportunities and challenges. The seminar is indeed a rewarding experience!"

Sun noted, “The Salzburg seminar has significantly extended my knowledge and perspectives about China’s vital domestic and international policies in the 21st century. The opportunity to interact and share thoughts with professionals from all over the world, to represent UD in a prestigious international event and to experience the culture and scenery of a small town is really unparalleled.”

Since 1947, the Salzburg Global Seminar has convened more than 20,000 participants from 150 countries in over 500 sessions at its home in the Schloss Leopoldskron.

The deadline for UD applications to participate in any of the 2013 Salzburg Global Seminar sessions has been extended to Wednesday, Dec. 19. For detailed information about the application process and two-page proposal, visit the Salzburg Seminar webpage on the IGS website.

Article by Tracey Bryant

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