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  • Events | 18 February, 2010 (12:44)

    Feb 26 – China and Iran – A Complex Friendship

    Willem E.C. Van Kemenade
    Visiting Senior Fellow, Clingendael Institute of International Relations, The Hague

    The crisis over Iran’s nuclear program has come full circle to 2006, as the United Nations’ Security Council considers a new package of sanctions. Three rounds of sanctions lukewarmly supported by China failed to coerce Iran to stop its uranium enrichment. President Barack Obama has shifted from Bush-era confrontation to engagement with Iran, a policy that hasn’t made the Iranian regime any more malleable. Tehran has vowed never to yield, while Iran’s domestic political crisis seems to have left its foreign policy decision making in disarray.

    China has emerged as Iran’s largest trading partner and by far the largest investor in Iran’s oil and gas infrastructure, linking Iran with western China through Central Asia. Opposition to sanctions is a core  principle of China’s foreign policy, and China and Iran both oppose US domination of Central Asia and the Greater Middle East. China views Iran’s vibrant opposition movement as a Western-inspired velvet or color revolution to bring down the Islamic regime and replace it with a liberal, pro-Western government.

    Please join us for a talk by long-time China foreign policy analyst Willem van Kemenade, who travelled to Tehran just as demonstrations broke out last year following the disputed reelection of hardline president Mahmud Ahmadinejad. His expectations that sanctions will defuse the nuclear stand-off this time?  Low!

    DATE: Friday, February 26th 2010

    Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
    Liangmahe Nanlu 4
    荷兰王国驻华大使馆 – 北京
    Phone: (86) (10) 6532 1131
    Website: click here

    ENTRANCE: free to FCCC members, 50 rmb on the door to non-members
    REGISTRATION: WAITINGLIST email fcccadmin@gmail.com so we know numbers and for security clearance
    **Bring passport or photo ID**


    Willem van Kemenade is a longtime China analyst, specializing in foreign policy. His latest book is “Iran’s Relations with China and the West: Cooperation and Confrontation in Asia,” Clingendael, The Hague 2009.

    He studied History and Chinese in Leiden and Amsterdam and obtained his MA degree in 1975. From 1977 through 1997 he reported for NRC Handelsblad from Hong Kong, Taipei, Jakarta and Beijing. He has also travelled to Japan, Russia, India, Central Asia and Iran.

    During the last 13 years, he has been a consultant and lecturer, as well as author of articles for public affairs journals such as The Washington Quarterly and reports for think tanks, including the International Crisis Group, the European Institute for Asian Studies in Brussels and private consulting groups.

    Since 2002 he has been a lecturer at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael and the Netherlands Defense College in The Hague, teaching courses on the international political economy and geo-strategy of China and Asia for European and Asian diplomats, senior military and government officials. He has been a visiting senior fellow at Clingendael since 2006.

    Books published:
    “China, Hong Kong, Taiwan Inc., The Dynamics of a New Empire”, Knopf, 1997
    “China and Japan: Partners or Permanent Rivals”, Clingendael, 2007.
    “Détente between China and India: The Delicate Balance of Geopolitics in Asia”, Clingendael, 2008.
    “Iran’s Relations with China and the West: Cooperation and Confrontation in Asia,” Clingendael, 2009.