Asian Studies Days 2023: At the Crux of New Europe-Asia Relations


Recent geopolitical events and macroeconomic earthquakes have underscored the urgency of reevaluating the relationships between European and Asian countries. The rivalry between the US and China has exposed smaller European and Asian states to critical security and economic vulnerabilities over which they have limited control. Meanwhile, China is strategically positioning itself on the global stage to assume a leading normative role.

In Europe, it becomes imperative to grasp the regional dynamics in Asia and understand Asian countries better to chart a course that safeguards both our values and interests. With a wealth of outstanding scholarship in Asia, Asian Studies Days 2023 aims to delineate the key dynamics shaping current changes and pinpoint the essential areas requiring our attention.

Asian Studies Days 2023 will be arranged at the University of Turku on October 31 and November 1. October 31 is designated for the annual doctoral seminar and the main conference day will take place on November 1. The conference takes place in the Educarium building and the event can also be followed online.

Registration form for onsite attendance

Registration form and link for online attendance


Program, November 1

Morning session 10:30-12:00
Venue: EDU2 (location on map, where to park and how?)

Opening words by Vice-Rector Kalle-Antti Suominen

Keynote speech by Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament: “EU, strategic autonomy and increasing role of Asia

Panel discussion on Europe-Asia relations

Chair: Jyrki Kallio, Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Panel members:
Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament
Assunta Cuyegkeng, Professor, Ateneo de Manila University
Friso Stevens, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Helsinki
Kamila Szczepanska, University lecturer, University of Turku

Afternoon session 13:00-16:30
Venue: EDU2

This session is financially supported by the Joel Toivola Foundation, that closes down in 2023 after successfully supporting Finnish China-research during a period of 20 years.

Tapahtumaan liittyen sinulla on nyt mahdollisuus ostaa kaksi Joel Toivolan Säätiön tukemaa Kiina-kirjaa alennushintaan:

Kiina Xi Jinpingin aikakaudella: 40% alennus marraskuun alkuun asti.

Kiinan poliittinen järjestelmä: Koodilla OPISKELIJA saa kirjasta (paperinen ja e-versio) 40% alennuksen marraskuun loppuun saakka

13:00-13:15 Mr Mikko Eskola, representative of the Joel Toivola Foundation.
        Joel Toivola’s career as the Ambassador of Finland to Beijing from 1961 to 1967

Presentations on China’s foreign policy

13:15-13:55 Jyrki Kallio, Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
       Finland-China relations: how bilateral is bilateral?

Short presentations about Asia-related research projects in Finland
13:55-14:00 Hermann Aubié: The Finnish Public’s Views of China: Insights from an Extensive Survey” (Funded by Joel Toivola Foundation)
14:00 – 14:10 Liisa Kauppila: 1) Foreign acquisitions and political retaliation as threats to supply security in an era of strategic decoupling (ForAc); 2) Climate responsibility as a normative cornerstone of multilateral cooperation?
14:10 – 14:15 Friso Stevens: EU in the Volatile Indo-Pacific Region

Coffee break 14:15-14:45

Presentations on China’s foreign policy continue

14:45 – 15:30 Egill Þór Níelsson, Senior Adviser at the Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNÍS)
       China’s Science Diplomacy: Case studies from the Arctic

15:30-16:15Liisa Kauppila, Senior Researcher, University of Turku
       Rethinking China’s primary node vision

16:15-16:20 Closing words