Date: 3rd June, 2024 (Monday)
Time: Start from 3:00 p.m. (GMT+8)
Mode: Hybrid–Room 401-402, Meng Wah Complex/by ZOOM
Speaker: Dr. Brian Wong (The University of Hong Kong)
Chair: Professor Gerard A. Postiglione (The University of Hong Kong)
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This talk aims to explore the role played by academic exchanges in Sino-American relations since the former undertook the monumental decision to reform and open-up. In particular, it aims to interrogate the extent to which academic exchanges, educational partnerships, and joint initiatives are a) victims and beneficiaries from both headwinds and improvement in bilateral relations, b) predictable indicators of changes to come in other, non-education spheres, and c) possible grounds or bases for constructive remedies to frayed Sino-American relations. Drawing upon a combination of social scientific, educational, and philosophical literature on the matter, the author makes the claim that at times when Sino-American macro relations are steadily improving, academic exchanges are both direct beneficiaries and facilitators of closer relations. At times when such relations begin to deteriorate, education exchanges – whilst immune – would inevitably become politicised, albeit with a time lag (and hence are ill-suited to be the ‘bellwethers’ of change). Last but not least, the space for leveraging such exchanges to mend bilateral relations does exist, but the maneuvering room is more limited and finite than most would like it to be.

About the speaker:

Dr. Brian Wong is an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong. His research examines intersection of geopolitics, political and moral philosophy, and technology, with particular interests in the ethics and dynamics of authoritarian regimes and their foreign policies, responding to historical and colonial injustices, and the impact of automation on labour and human societies.