University brings defence debate to Lancashire

By Tim Aldred

16 Nov 2023

Lancaster University China

Lancaster University is hosting a roundtable discussion on the country's defence strategy in a bid to ensure that voices from outside of London are heard.

The public event will take place on December at The Storey in Lancaster and will be hosted by the university's Centre for War and Diplomacy (CWD).

Topics covered will include exploring how Britain can position itself in relation to China, the United States and the EU.

The Rt Hon Alastair Burt, former Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, will chair the panel. Mr Burt is also the university’s pro-chancellor.

Other panellists will include: 

  • Avinash Paliwal - reader in international relations, School of Oriental and African Studies, and author of India’s Near East – A New History
  • Cindy Yu - assistant editor of The Spectator and host of the Chinese Whispers podcast
  • Hugo Meijer - CNRS research fellow at Sciences Po, Centre for International Studies, Paris, and author of Awakening to China’s Rise: European Foreign and Security Policies Toward the People's Republic of China
  • Simona Soare, a senior lecturer in strategy and technology at Lancaster University, and former defence advisor to the vice-president of the European Parliament

The public roundtable discussion will be followed by an invitation-only workshop of academics, analysts, and policymakers examining the UK’s defence and security position and policies in relation to the US-China rivalry culminating in a report to be presented to the UK government.

The North West has an internationally significant defence, technological and industrial base, worldwide trade links, and cyber research capabilities, and therefore has unique contributions to make in addressing the UK’s defence and security challenges.

The National Cyber Force, a new branch of the military, gearing up to fight battles in cyber space from Samlesbury in Lancashire, is expected to bring a high-tech renaissance to the region.

And the Lancaster Defence and Security Dialogue (LDSD) will provide a platform for major defence and security issues from a unique vantage point.

Prof Marco Wyss, director of the CWD, said “China’s rise and the return of great power rivalry have generated a bewildering array of questions for the UK and Europe.

“Realities of economic, environmental, and societal interdependence coexist uneasily with the exigencies of expanding strategic competition, presenting the UK, the European Union and its member states with new and difficult defence and security policy choices.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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