On January 17, just before the symposium, the Euro-Asian Border Lab hosted a roundtable event titled “Decoupling world: What are the lines of de-risking from China for Estonia and EU?” at the Parliament of Estonia (Riigikogu in Estonian). The roundtable brought together China experts to discuss the challenges posed by China’s growing influence on the EU and Estonia and their potential responses, and the border scholars participating in the symposium.

MP Marko Mihkelson, Chair of the Estonian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, participated along with Juan Zhang (University of Bristol), Jekaterina Koort (Tallinn University), and Monique Taylor (University of Helsinki). Leslie Leino (Tallinn University) served as the moderator. The roundtable focused on the policy of options of de-risking and decoupling from China, featuring discussions about earlier restrictions on the import of Chinese products – including fourth-generation (4G) and fith-generation (5G) broadband cellular network technology – imposed by several countries. The impacts of recent events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on global trade and debates on national security were also discussed. Comments from the panelists drew on a wide range of perspectives and experiences, including those of China, Estonia, Australia, the EU, the US, and Taiwan. 

After the event, MP Marko Mihkelson took the symposium participants to see the main session hall.