Polytechnic University to play host to China-Europa Forum

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 May, 2009, 12:00am

A forum dedicated to pondering the future relationship between China and Europe will be held in Hong Kong for the first time in July.

Polytechnic University will host the third meeting of the China-Europa Forum, which is expected to involve 1,000 European and Chinese participants. They will include former world leaders such as former French prime minister Michel Rocard, and members of official bodies and NGOs, academics and citizens.

Topics will include science and technologies, economic development, social evolutions, city planning and sustainable development.

But controversial issues, including Tibet, would not be discussed because there was little room for compromise and conclusion, organisers said yesterday.

They said the full list of those attending the forum - organised by Polytechnic University, the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation and a forum committee - had yet to be confirmed.

'Our aim is to facilitate non-official communication between China and Europe,' Polytechnic University associate vice-president Professor Angelina Yuen Tsang Woon-ki said.

Hong Kong had been chosen as the host city because 'participants will feel relaxed to spell out their thoughts', said the forum's general co-ordinator, Professor Yu Shuo.

Participants will hold a series of discussion groups before the forum concludes in Hong Kong. Up to 50 such groups will have their debates in 30 mainland cities a week before they come to Hong Kong. Each group will have 20 to 30 participants.

Brussels hosted the last forum two years ago, with discussions spread over 23 cities in nine European countries.

The forum is not intended for current officials who represent the interests of their countries, Professor Yuen said. Rather, the discussion aims to promote exchanges on an individual basis, according to Professor Yu.

Professor Yuen said she was hopeful exchanges among participants would continue on a long-term basis if the forum failed to materialise this year because of the swine flu outbreak.