Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2ND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: CHINA AND THE MIDDLE EAST - QATAR UNIVERSITY, MARCH 23-24, 2016


2ND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE:

CHINA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
Neoliberalism with Chinese Characteristics and Political Transformations in the Middle East

College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, QATAR
MARCH 23-24, 2016

ORGANIZED BY


ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE
Dr. Mohammedmoin Sadeq, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Qatar
Dr. Guo Changgang, Center for Turkish Studies, Shanghai University, China
Dr. Tuğrul Keskin, Maltepe University, Turkey and Shanghai University, China
Dr. Jamsheed Choksy, Indiana University, USA
Dr. Kemal Silay, Indiana University, USA

Description and Objectives:
The increasingly neoliberal economy that has developed since the early 1980s has led to an emergence of a vibrant middle class in China. This new demographic, roughly 350-400 million people, began to consume more. This has continued to shape Chinese Foreign Policy towards oil producing countries, particularly in the Middle East after Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. One of the first signs of these changes can be seen in the proposal of a new Silk Road initiative, introduced by Xi Jinping. Over the last two years, we have seen the increase of Chinese political and social activities in the region, fueled by the economic needs for PRC. As a result of this new political strategy, the PRC started to play a more active role within the Middle Eastern political arena. Hence, Xi Jinping visited Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Additionally, Chinese social and cultural activities began to appear more visibly within the universities and educational institutions in the Middle East.  Hanban Institutes started to open and finance Confucius Institutes in the region that facilitate Chinese cultural and language classes and promote mutual understanding between China and the Middle East. For example, these institutes have arisen in Turkey, Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, UAE, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Morocco. China has also become one of the largest economic and trade partners with Middle Eastern states such as Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel. Therefore, we would like to make this academic initiative a permanent conference meeting, and each year, we will organize a China and the Middle East Conference in different countries in collaboration with other universities.  

We organized a very successful first academic conference on this topic in collaboration with Beijing University, on March 17-18, 2015. The conference took place in Beijing University and 24 papers were presented within six different panels. On the second day, the newly opened Indiana University Beijing office hosted two panels. The selected conference proceedings (approximately 6-8) will be published by a peer-reviewed academic journal, the Sociology of Islam, in the Winter of 2016. You will find the first conference program at the following homepage:

Why the conference will be held in Qatar:
This conference is being held in Qatar precipitated by the Qatar Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari signing a partnership agreement with the People’s Republic of China for the 2016 Year of Culture program.
As a result of this conference and academic initiative on China and the Middle East, we established a new academic mailing list on China and the Middle East, hosted by Virginia Tech University. In our second upcoming conference, we will examine social, political and economic relations between China and Middle Eastern states and societies in the context of the neoliberal economy. The conference proceedings will also be published.

TENTATIVE PROGRAM

March 23, 2016

9:00-9:15 AM
Registration

9:15-9:30 AM
Welcome Speech: Dr. Eiman Mustafawi, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University.

9:30–9:45 AM
Keynote Speech:
H.E. LI CHEN, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the State of Qatar.

9:45-10:00
Conference Introductory:
Tugrul Keskin, Maltepe University, Turkey and Shanghai University, the People's Republic of China

10:00 AM–11:45 AM
PANEL I: NEOLIBERALISM IN CHINA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Moderator: Juan Cole, University of Michigan, USA

Islamic-Sino Diplomacy and Trade during the Early Islamic Period - Mohammedmoin Sadeq, Qatar University, Qatar.

China's Energy and Security Connection with the Gulf Region - Tingyi Wang Visiting Fellow, King Faisal Center, Saudi Arabia and Tsinghua University, China.

The Political Economy of China-GCC Relations - Jonathan David Fulton, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

In Popularity We (Don’t) Trust: Soft Power and Public Diplomacy in U.S. and Sino-Egyptian Relations - Alice Su, Princeton University/Peking University.
12:00–12:45 PM
Lunch

13:00–14:45 PM
PANEL II: ONE BELT, ONE RAOD: POLITICS TO ECONOMY

Moderator: Mahjoob Zweiri, The chair of the department of humanities, Qatar university

China's Pakistan Initiative - Juan Cole, University of Michigan, USA

A Study of Guangzhou Arab Community’s Business Strategy:  An Organizational Approach - Jie Wang, School of Middle Eastern studies, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

China in the Middle East: A Political Economy Perspective - Umut Ergunsü, Peking University.

China-Middle East Relations: New Dimensions - Javed Zafar, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India. 

14:45–15:00 PM
Coffee Break

15:00–16:45 PM
PANEL III: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CHANGES IN CHINA AND THE MIDDLE EAST IN THE CONTEXT OF NEOLIBERALISM

Moderator: Dr. Ahmed Abou Shouk, Professor of history, Department of Humanities

The Neoliberal Relationship between the Kurdish Regional Government and Turkey: Is There a Role for China?  - Lenore G. Martin, Emmanuel College and Harvard University, USA.

The ‘Arab Spring’ and South China Sea Tensions:  Analyzing China’s Drive to Energy Security - Henelito A. Sevilla, the Assistant Dean for Administration and Public Affairs at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines, Philippines.

China’s Growing Role in the Israel-Palestine Conflict: The Changing Dynamics of China’s Relations with each Actor – Oliver Hayakawa, Exeter University, UK.

March 24, 2016

10:00 AM–11:45 PM
PANEL IV: CHINESE POLITICAL ECONOMY TOWARD MIDDLE EAST

Moderator: Mojtaba Mahdavi, University of Alberta, Canada

The Chinese Model in Iran’s Look East Policy - Mohiaddin Messbahi, Director of the Middle East Studies Center, Florida International University and Mohammad Homayounvash, Florida International University, USA.

China GCC Relations; Iran's Factor - Mahjoob Zweiri, the chair of the department of humanities, Qatar university

Chinese Model and Power Struggle in Iran - Arash Reisinezhad, Florida International University, USA.

China’s ‘New Silk Web’: How is it impacting Iran, Pakistan and Beyond? - Saeed Shafqat, Centre for Public Policy and Governance, Forman Christian University, Lahore, Pakistan.

12:00–13:00 PM
Lunch

13:30–15:30 PM
PANEL V: ENERGY AND SECURITY IN CHINA AND MIDDLE EAST

Moderator: Dr. Mariam Al-Mulla, coordinator of the department of humanities, Qatar University. 

The Beijing Consensus in the Middle East: Neo-liberalism without Democracy?  - Mojtaba Mahdavi, University of Alberta, Canada.

The decline of American hegemony in the Gulf: the role of China - Michael McCall, Leiden University.

Commercial Diplomacy and China’s Economic Engagement of the Gulf Cooperation Council - Marc Lanteigne, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Norway.

Strategic energy knowledge relations between China and the Middle East for managing power transition - Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen, Professor, Barents Chair in Politics, University of Tromsø-The Arctic University of Norway, Aalborg University and University of Iceland.

Closing Remarks
5:00–7:00 PM
Dinner

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