Making it Political: China, the EU, and Technology Standards

Technological standards are at the center stage of the competition between China and the EU. China promotes their own standards in the EU and on the international stage, which gives them a leading role in the geopolitics of technology. This evening we discuss the nature of this interaction between China and the EU.

Traditionally, the evolution of technological standards in international organizations like ITU and ISO – involve a myriad of actors. China challenges this informal agreement having a centralized digital policy agenda that tries to promote its standards also abroad. In the EU, these efforts meet with resistance. In this seventh event of the Geopolitics of Technology series, we ask how the EU and China interact and compete in this sector; what role standardization plays in various technology sectors in the EU; what impact the EU’S 2022 standardization strategy had; and finally what role (should) private and civil society actors play in regulation and standardization?

About the speakers

 Daniel Fuchs is assistant professor at the Institute for Asian and African Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His work focuses on labour, migration and industrial policy in China as well as EU-China relations. He is currently working on a research project analysing China’s increasing influence in international technical standardization.

Qiao Cong-rui is a public accountability and transition governance specialist. Her extensive research covers a diverse array of subjects, spanning from comparative legal theories and comparative administrative law to international criminal and human rights law. In her forthcoming book Cong-rui offers non-Chinese readers a comprehensive entry point into understanding the profound shifts occurring within Chinese legal culture and governance practices.

Rogier Creemers is an Assistant Professor in Modern Chinese Studies. With a background in Sinology and Relations, and a PhD in Law, his research focuses on Chinese domestic digital technology policy, as well as China’s growing importance in global digital affairs. He is the principal investigator of the NWO Vidi Project “The Smart State: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and the Law in China”. For the LeidenAsiaCentre, he directs a project on China and global cybersecurity, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is also a co-founder of DigiChina, a joint initiative with Stanford University and New America.

Moderators

Jamal Shahin is part time Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam and part time Research Professor at the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). His research interests focus on global internet governance, political participation in the European Union, EU governance, and the impact of the internet on policymaking. Jamal is keen to explore how new forms of social and political organisation at the global level influence effectiveness and legitimacy of decision making. He is also particularly interested in the way in which the EU attempts to communicate its role in both domestic and international venues.

Franziska Plümmer is an Assistant Professor of Europe-China Relations at the Department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests generally lie within Critical Security Studies with a focus on borders, mobility, and migration governance in China, East Asia, and Europe, EU technology politics, questions of (digital) sovereignty, and role of Chinese enterprises in developing ‘critical’ infrastructures in Europe.

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