The Agenda

Decoding China: A Dictionary of Key Terms In International Development Cooperation

Online Workshop on 4 December, 2020

Organised by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

The ‘Decoding China Dictionary’ was developed with the purpose to provide policy-makers and practitioners with a tool for understanding the Chinese meaning of key terms used in international development cooperation. Understanding the meaning of these concepts in the official Chinese discourse and political context is of crucial importance to more informed engagement with China. Drafted by a group of China specialists with extensive experience in interpreting official Chinese discourse, the dictionary is a selection of key terms and contains a comparative analysis of concepts such as democracy, development, freedom of expression, good governance, human rights, multilateralism, public diplomacy, rule of law, security and sovereignty.

The intended users of the dictionary are policy makers and institutions in Europe who are engaged in dialogue and exchanges with China. The dictionary can serve as a practical guide and point of reference for strategy development and communication with Chinese counterparts, and aims to strengthen knowledge and contribute to more informed engagement with China. The purpose of the workshop is to present ten select terms from the draft dictionary and to receive feedback and input from experts and intended users. Following the workshop, the dictionary will be revised and published online in January 2021.


9:00 – 9:10 Welcome and introductions

Malin Oud, Stockholm Office Director and China Programme Director, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI)

9:10 – 9:50 Human Rights and Rule of Law

Malin Oud, Stockholm Office Director and China Programme Director, RWI


Eva Pils, Professor of Law, The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London

Joshua Rosenzweig, Head of East Asia Regional Office, Amnesty International

9:50 – 10:00 Break

10:00 – 10:40 Good Governance and Democracy

Katja Drinhausen, Senior Analyst, Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS)


Johannes Oljelund, Director-General for International Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden

Alexander Roth, Deputy Head of China Division, Federal Foreign Office of Germany

10:40 – 10:50 Break

10:50 – 11:30 Development and Multilateralism

Marina Rudyak, Assistant Professor for Chinese Cultural Studies, Heidelberg University Center for Asian and Transcultural Studies


Matt Ferchen, Head of Global China, MERICS

Anders Rönqvist, Head of the Multilateral Coordination Unit, Swedish International Development Cooperation


14:00 – 14:10 Welcome back – key takeaways from the morning sessions

14:10 – 14:50 Sovereignty and Security

Jerker Hellström, Director, Swedish Center for China Studies


Courtney Fung, Assistant Professor of International Relations, University of Hong Kong

Nadège Rolland, Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs, The National Bureau of Asian Research

14:50 – 15:00 Break

15:00 – 15:40 Freedom of Expression and Public Diplomacy

David Bandurski, Co-Director, China Media Project


Isabel Hilton, Founder and CEO, China Dialogue

Marina Svensson, Professor of Modern China and Director of Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University

15:40 – 16:00 Conclusions and next steps

Malin Oud, Stockholm Office Director and China Programme Director, RWI

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