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A year ago PAGEO (Pallas Athene Geopolitical Foundation) received the Euro-Sino Economic Research Award from EUOBOR. Half a year ago the European Forum of the One Belt One Road was organised by PAGEO in Budapest. A month ago we published the newest HUG (Hungarian Geopolitics) magazine on the great paradigm shift and the beginning of the technological era. On 10 November 2017 Pallas Foundations created the Belt and Road Center as the centre of the geopolitical knowledge network in the Central and Eastern European Region. Our articles and analyses are published on the website of PAGEO Research Institute and followed by more than 50,000 readers in 132 countries of the world. On 21 November the first Chinese-language geopolitical magazine, the Chinese special issue of HUG was released and presented by Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Hungary Zhou Xinjian. The topics this issue discusses are the OBOR, the 16+1 Cooperation, the infrastructure, innovation and institutional development and cooperation, the history of the Old and New Silk Road, as well as culture, technology and people-to-people connection, In addition, PAGEO Research Institute is a member of the 16+1 think tank network set up by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Two weeks ago I completed and published my book Geofusion. At the invitation of Fudan Development Institution, I presented this book and held an opening speech in the EU-Chinese Young Global Think Tank Leaders Forum on the geofusion challenges of a new changed world order at Fudan University, Shanghai in November 2017. The main question of the book is: who will be the winning nations, communities and leaders of the new age? The small or the big countries, the strong one or the fast one, the centre of the periphery?
We are living in the new global world order
Halford Mackinder wrote his book The Geographical Pivot of History and formed the Heartland Theory 112 years ago. Where is Heartland in the new geopolitical world order today? Is Mackinder’s theory still valid today? How are Asia and Europe linked to each other? Why is China’s One Belt One Road initiative important to us both in Central and Eastern Europe and in the European Union? China is in favour of a peaceful construction process based on partnership, but how will this change the role of Europe? What is the vision of the EU at all? The New Silk Road is not only an infrastructure investment but also a cultural, commercial, educational, economic and knowledge linkage and network that builds upon people-to-people relations. What is the national strategic objective of the United States in this era? What role will the new CIA countries (China, India, America) and Russia have? Or Poland and Hungary? In his books geopolitical expert George Friedmann highlights the significance of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe for the following decades.
Geography has come into focus again; we are living in the age of geo-economics, the world of fusions and networks, and in this technological age the role of places also fulfils a significant role. Geography is not only about memorising a place on the map. Where will the new economic forcelines and hot sports be in this multipolar new world order? Will cities really be the power centres of the 21st century? Global cities or megacities, brain ports or knowledge centres, HUBs or city states, creative cities or smart cities, start-up centres or the financial-economic and trade centres?
How should we navigate on the map of the changed world order of the 21st century? If we want to get to know our world and the driving forces, we need three things: a good map, a compass and a pen to redraw our whole world and map. We need functional geography, interdisciplinary knowledge, knowledge share and knowledge networks.
New institutes and collaborations
In this new and changed geopolitical world order connection points, connectivity and complexity play the key role. The geopolitical fusions of the 21st century are people-to-people relations, inter-institutional relations, knowledge networks, educational relations, cultural relations and relations between cities, countries and products, which always rely upon knowledge. Universities, think tanks, institutes, talent labs, professors and students are a key figure in this world.
It is very important to us that Budapest has the opportunity to host the leaders of the 16+1 countries of China at the Summit Meeting. Budapest, which can become the innovation, knowledge and cultural centre of the Silk Road in the Central European and European Region, is the first region where the Silk Road reaches Europe and the European Union, as seen from the East. The cooperation between the 16 countries and China is utterly important for this reason, too.
This is why we have invited our guests from all parts of the world in relation to the 16+1 Summit: we have lecturers from China, India, the USA, Poland, Russia and Hungary. It gives me great pleasure to welcome the most interesting global thinkers in the world here and I hope that we can discuss the future and the cooperation opportunities at the New Global World Order Conference organised by PAGEO. Can we explore our new global and geopolitical world orders together? Let me convey my very best wishes for a successful conference and productive discussion.