Managing Sino-Western Relations in the New Geoeconomic World Order: Panel I - Competitive Interdependence and the New Geoeconomic Power Politics

kutsutilaisuus · Webinar · 23.03.2022 09:45 - 11:45


The past years have witnessed the acceleration of geoeconomic competition characterized by the broad use of economic tools to achieve geostrategic goals. As China, Europe and the United States ramp up this competition, economic interdependence is cast in a new light. What was once heralded as a barrier to conflict, is seemingly now turned into a currency of power, feeding a geoeconomic chain reaction with states applying broader trade controls, investment screening and data localization measures out of concern for their economic sovereignty. The panel discusses this new geoeconomic power politics and the way economic connectivities and interdependencies are being leveraged for power politics ends.

Programme for the whole conference


Opening remarks:

Oliver Letwin

Chair, Project for Peaceful Competition

Rt Hon Sir Oliver Letwin was Minister for Government Policy in the Cabinet Office from 2010 to 2016, and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 2014 to 2016. During his time in government, he also chaired the Home Affairs Committee and a range of other cabinet committees, acted as Minister for National Resilience, and was a member of the National Security Council. He was elected to the UK Parliament in 1997 as MP for West Dorset. In Opposition from 1998-2010, he was Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Shadow Home Secretary, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, and Chairman of the Conservative Policy Review and of the Conservative Research Department. Sir Letwin is currently a Vice President of the Great Britain China Centre, a Senior Fellow of the Legatum Institute, a Senior Adviser to the Faraday Institution, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at Cambridge. He holds a PhD from Cambridge.

Mikael Wigell

Research Director, FIIA

Mikael Wigell is Research Director at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and Adjunct Professor in International Political Economy at the University of Tampere. He earned his PhD at the London School of Economics, and he has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University. He has also been a Member of the Development Policy Committee of the Finnish Government and President of the Finnish International Studies Association. He currently leads the International Business Risk and Resilience Monitor for Strengthening National Economic Preparedness-project funded by the European Commission, as well as the Nordic Security of Supply in an Age of Disruption-project funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. His latest book is as editor of the volume Geo-economics and Power Politics in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2018; 2020).


Alexander Stubb

Professor, European University Institute

Professor Alexander Stubb is the Director of the School of Transnational Governance as of 1 May 2020. He has served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Trade and Europe Minister of Finland (2008-2016). He was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2008 and national parliament (2011-2017). He was the Chairman of the Finnish National Coalition Party from 2014 to 2016 and Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) from 2017 to 2020. Stubb worked as an advisor at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Helsinki and Brussels and in President Romano Prodi's team at the European Commission (1995-2004). He was involved in the negotiation of the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon. Stubb’s background is in academia, civil service and politics. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics, a Master’s degree in EU administration from the College of Europe in Bruges, and a B.A. in political science from Furman University in South Carolina.

Anthea Roberts

Professor, Australian National University

Anthea Roberts, a Professor at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at Australian National University is an interdisciplinary researcher and legal scholar who focuses on new ways of thinking about complex and evolving global fields. Her research areas include international law, trade and investment, the effect of geopolitical change on global governance, and understanding and navigating complex systems. Professor Roberts is the Director of the Centre for International Governance and Justice and chairs the ANU Working Group on Geoeconomics. She formerly taught at the London School of Economics, Columbia Law School and Harvard Law School. She has a BA/LLB from the ANU (National Undergraduate Scholarship, 1st Class Hons and University Medal), an LLM from NYU (Fulbright Scholar, Hauser Scholar and Jerome Lipper Award) and PhD from the ANU (JG Crawford Award). She is or has been an editor for the American Journal of International Law, the European Journal of International Law, the Journal of International Economic Law, the Journal of World Trade and Investment and the ICSID Review.

Mikael Mattlin

Professor, University of Turku

Mikael Mattlin is Professor of Political Science in the University of Turku, and Director for the ForAc -research project (Academy of Finland). Earlier he has held the position of Professor of Chinese Studies in the University of Helsinki. Prof. Mattlin is a leading European expert on China and Taiwan. He is often consulted by government and business on matters related to China, and he has occasionally been called on to serve as Chinese interpreter for Finnish state and government leaders. Until recently, he also served (2009–21) as ombudsman for the Helsinki-based Foundation for Foreign Policy Research (Ulkopolitiikan tutkimuksen säätiö). Prof. Mattlin’s current research interests revolve around China’s political system and foreign policies, economic statecraft and supply security, as well as negotiation simulations in international relations teaching. Prof. Mattlin has published in many leading academic journals, e.g., in The China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, Information, Communication & Society, Cooperation and Conflict, Simulation & Gaming, Journal of Political Science Education, Asia Europe Journal and European Political Science. His most recent book – the first comprehensive Finnish-language academic monograph on the Chinese political system – will be published by Vastapaino in April 2022 and is co-authored with two other leading Finnish China experts. (


Mika Aaltola

Director, FIIA

Mika Aaltola is the Director of FIIA. Dr Aaltola is also a professor of International Relations at Tallinn University, Estonia, and holds the rank of docent at Tampere University. He has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (CERI), and Johns Hopkins as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. His areas of expertise include the US global role, dynamics of power politics, and Finnish foreign policy. His latest published monograph is "Democratic Vulnerability and Autocratic Meddling – The 'Thucydidean Brink' in Regressive Geopolitical Competition" (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2021).