Friday, 4 September 2009
A delegation of New Zealand academics and former diplomats is due to leave tomorrow for meetings with counterpart ‘think tank’ organisations in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo.
The New Zealand delegates taking part are from the Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA), the Asia New Zealand Foundation, as well as political scientists from Massey, Victoria, Auckland and Waikato Universities.
The meetings will take place in Beijing on September 7-8, Shanghai on September 9-10 and Tokyo on September 10.
The host organisations will be the Chinese Peoples Institute for Foreign Affairs (CPIFA), the Shanghai Institute of International Studies (SIIS) and the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA).
The talks will take place under the ‘track 2’ umbrella of non-governmental but counterpart agencies which are closely aligned with their government’s official positions on current issues.
The agreed agendas for the three sets of meetings focus on five main areas:
- East Asia regional cooperation
- Security issues in Asia
- Relations between China and Japan and the Pacific
- Emerging Trilateral among China, Japan and the US
- Impact of the current global financial crisis on regional economic integration
The meetings offer New Zealand a useful complement to formal exchanges at official level. The normally frank and open character of these talks provides scope to explore policy options and identify differing perspectives in a less structured context than may be possible in official channels.
Each of the three Asian counterpart institutes are highly regarded in the Asian think tank community. They have shown encouraging readiness to include New Zealand on an annual basis among their regular bilateral exchanges.
The members of the New Zealand delegation are:
- Dr Richard Grant, Executive Director, Asia New Zealand Foundation
- Mr Brian Lynch, Director, New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
- Mr Michael Powles, Senior Fellow, Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University and Adjunct Research Fellow, Fudan University
- Dr Jian Yang, Senior Lecturer in Political Studies, Auckland University
- Dr David Capie, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Victoria University of Wellington
- Dr Beth Greener, Lecturer in International Relations, Massey University
- Mr Simon Gray, Asia New Zealand Foundation Young Leader and Lecturer, University of Waikato
Telephone: 64 4 470 8706