Hot News (lectures, conferences, seminars)

2018 BCCDS Lecture 

Lecture and interview: "The Chinese Media in a New Era of Disruption"

Venue: KULeuven Campus Brussels, Hermes building, Room 6306

Date: October 25, 2018, 7 - 9 pm

Guest speaker: David Bandurski, co-director of the China Media Project, research program in partnership with the Journalism and Media Studies  Centre at the University of Hong Kong

Interviewer: Catherine Vuylsteke, journalist and author

For this event, Lutgard Lams invited two China experts to share their views about contemporary Chinese official discourse on the role of the media. First, David Bandurski, co-director of the China Media Project, University of Hong Kong, presented a chronological survey of continuities and changes in the Chinese official media policies since Chairman Mao came to power. Drawing on his years of experience observing Chinese political and media affairs and a great eloquence, Bandurski positioned contemporary Chinese state-media connections within a broad historical context and offered the audience a fascinating insight into the cyclical nature of disruptions of the ‘normal’ in the Chinese political and media scene. We learned about the recurrent alternations between periods of opening the media to a critical ‘People spirit’ and eras of imposing an ideological Party stance onto the media (‘Party spirit’). Spiced with rich illustrations and quotes from the past, the lecture reminded the audience that the ‘new’ or the ‘modern’ always carries an echo of the past. This presentation was followed by an in-depth interview of David Bandurski by the Belgian Sinologist-author-journalist Catherine Vuylsteke, who opened up the discussion into the wider area of Chinese political guidance of public opinion. The event was closed with some keen observations and questions from the public. 


2017 BCCDS Lecture

Lecture "The Historical Development of Taiwanization of Buddhism after 1945: the Politics of Religion"

Venue: KULeuven Campus Brussels, Hermes building, Room 6303

Date: May 18, 2017, 6:30-8pm    

Guest speaker:  dr. Cheming Yang, Associate Prof. Cheng Kung University, Taiwan; Taiwan Studies Chair, Fac. Soc. Sciences, KULeuven 

In this lecture, Prof. Yang discussed the different types of Buddhism as practiced in Taiwan. He focused on the role of discourse in the politics of promoting a particular brand of Buddhism, through the development and consolidation of Buddhist monasteries (i.e. Fokuangshan, Dharma Drum, Chung-tai, and Tsu Chi), against the backdrop of the emerging quasi-Buddhist denominations such as I-Kuan Tao, Ching-Hai or Falungong.  


2016  BCCDS research events 

Research stay Lutgard Lams, Jan-April 2016, at National Sun Yat-sen University, Graduate Institute of Political Science (within framework of Taiwan Fellowship Program (Min. Foreign Affairs, ROC)


'Sinicization and Taiwanization processes during Ma Ying-jeou’s first term in office' (L. Lams)

Date: 24 March 2016

Venue: Chung Hsing University, Graduate Institute of International Relations, Taichung, ROC (Taiwan)

The interplay of language and ideology in political communication: case study: Taiwan 2016 Election Campaigning” (L. Lams)
Date: 11 April 2016
Venue: National Sun Yat-sen University, Graduate Institute of Political Science, Kaohsiung, ROC (Taiwan)

2015 BCCDS Lecture

Lecture: 'The Asian Paradox: Cultures of Trade and Politics'  

Date: June 25, 2015, 7-9 pm    

Guest speaker:  dr. Wolfgang Pape, Research Fellow Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) 

In this lecture, dr. Pape, former Principal Administrator for Asia-Policy, at EU Commission, DG RELEX-H1, discussed the apparent paradox between the economic interdependence of the growth economies in Northeast Asia (China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan) and the tendency to preserve their national cultural identities. The ‘Asian Paradox’ appears to be particularly evident in the North East of that continent if seen through European eyes. While one of the tightest networks of intra-regional trade binds the economies of China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, their political leaders hardly ever connect with each other in substantive exchanges. The media these days serve us permanently cold images of frozen faces and of an ‘icy lady’ that seem to contrast with the warm embraces, which their business people frequently enjoy after successful deals over political borders.

However, dr. Pape wondered whether this is the view only in the eyes of the European beholder, who is used to the myriad of regular institutionalized meetings at all political and bureaucratic levels of the EU? Northeast Asia comprises two of the three biggest national economies in the world and on the basis of their interdependence economically flourishes -- exception for Japan -- with GDP growth-rates above OECD average. At the same time, in view of unresolved historical legacies their leading politicians still feel forced to keep frozen faces for the mass media because of voters’ gazes of self-instilled nationalisms back home. Homogeneous cultures of Confucianism and shame rather than guilt, notably on the islands and the peninsula, maintain a very high level of national identity, in spite of a growing awareness of economic interdependence and globalization. Even conservative schoolbooks and dominant mainstream media cannot refute these trends anymore. Rather, human relations beyond ‘per-sona-lities’ but by ‘ningen’ through ‘guanxi’ bind business deals overcoming artificial national rivalries. While not through the ideal of ‘com-petition’ of Western markets, East-Asian economies traditionally exchange goods and services more by establishing their common commercial interests. 

Dr. Pape presented his views on the above issues, and presented concrete evidence, notwithstanding his perspective as an outside observer from Europe.

2014 BCCDS Events

Lecture:  'A Critical Study of Chinese Political Discourse: the Case of Taiwanese Presidential Speeches'      

Date: December 04,2014, 7-9 pm    

Guest speakers:  Prof.dr. Wei-lun Lu, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic; Prof.dr. Lutgard Lams, KULeuven Campus Brussels

In the first lecture, Wei-lun Lu discussed how Cognitive Linguistics, as a linguistic sub-discipline that gives special focus on how language is used to create a construal, is applied to critically investigate Chinese Political Discourse. The first part of the talk consisted of the theoretical groundwork, where dr. Lu introduced the Contemporary Theory of Metaphor. In the second part, he showed how CMT can be applied to investigate Taiwanese presidential speeches.

The second lecture dealt with the dynamics of meaning generation in the ROC/Taiwan nation-building process against the background of regionalization and globalization tendencies. Based on the insights of Language Pragmatics, Lutgard Lams traced ideological processes of ‘Taiwanization’ and ‘Sinicization’ in Taiwanese presidential speeches.

Seminar: Totalitarian/authoritarian discourse across time and space

Venue: Berlaymont building (EU Commission), Salle Cinéma, Wetstraat/                                  Rue de la Loi, 200, 1000 Brussels

Date: November 13, 2014, 16:30-18:30 pm    

Guest speakers:   Lutgard Lams, Rüta Petrauskaité, Ko Ko Thett

At this seminar, three contributors to the recently published volume “Totalitarian/authoritarian discourses; a global and timeless phenomenon?", edited by Lutgard Lams, Geert Crauwels, and Henrieta Serban  presented their views on totalitarian/authoritarian discourse in China, Myanmar, and the former Soviet Union, addressing the following questions. What are the common characteristics and main functions of totalitarian/authoritarian discourse? In what form does totalitarian/authoritarian discourse survive after democratization and to what extent can it impede democratization? Why is deciphering discourse important for policy-makers?The authors discussed how totalitarian/authoritarian discourse contains an explicit emphasis on the Party's or Leader's monopoly on truth and aims at creating a collective identity directed towards a common enemy. 

'Discourse of the China Dream: what, why and how?'      

Date: April 24,2014,  7-9 pm    

Guest speaker:  Prof.dr. Tao Xie, School of English and International Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University

In this lecture, Prof. Tao Xie unraveled the enigmatic formula of the 'Chinese dream', coined by President Xi Jinping.  As he explained, "the Chinese people have dreams too, just like other peoples around the world. But the China Dream has never been as powerfully and eloquently articulated as the American dream, until President Xi Jinping came into power in 2012". Prof. Xie examined the China Dream in the broad context of rhetorical campaigns by Chinese leaders since Deng Xiaoping. From Jiang Zeming's Three Represents to Hu Jintao's Harmonious Society to the most recent China Dream, each rhetorical campaign represents not only the top leader's attempts to distinguish his tenure from his predecessors, but also different governance challenges faced by each top leader. The talk analyzed in particular the instruments of communication that have been employed by the Chinese government to promote the China dream, as well as foreign and domestic perceptions of the China Dream.

2014 Speeches

On 15 April 2014, a panel discussion "Taiwan's Role and Commitment from Regional and Global Per spectives", organized by EIAS (European Institute for Asian Studies), chaired by Mr Georges Legros, Senior Associate, EIAS. Together with H.D. Mr Kuoyu Tung, Representative of the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium, and Prof.dr. Paul Lim, National Taiwan University, Lutgard Lams discussed how the Taiwanese authorities have been striving to improve cross-Strait relations in order to reinforce Taiwan's position in the region, and to increase economic opportunities and cooperation both with the PR China and with its primary trading partners. She outlined continuities within the presidential discourse over the last few years and presented different ideological perspectives in the Taiwanese society about cross-strait rapprochement. A discussion followed about the Sunflower Movement (including student demonstrations in March 2014) and the government response.

On 29 Nov 2013, the EU Parliament,DG External Policies, Policy  Department organized a Policy hub to discuss discursive issues of unification, 'one China framework', national identity with respect to Taiwan and Hong Kong, in light of recent policy trends and theoretical models. Guest speakers were Lutgard Lams (KULeuven Campus Brussels) and David Huang (Academia Sinica, Taipei).

2014 Conferences

posted Apr 23, 2014, 1:38 PM by Lutgard Lams   [ updated Nov 5, 2014, 7:38 AM ]

On April 3-4, 2014, The College of Europe organized an international conference "Mass Communication and EU-China relations" at the EU Committee of the Regions, Brussels. Lutgard Lams presented a paper "China: economic magnet or rival? Framing of China in the Dutch- and French-language quality press in Belgium and the Netherlands".

2013 Conferences in China

posted Nov 4, 2013, 2:41 PM by Lutgard Lams

In the Fall Semester, two presentations concerning 'Communication and China' were given by Lutgard Lams at two consecutive conferences in China.

 In September, she participated in the 2013  China Communication Forum and the First  Central Asia Communication Forum in Urumqi, co-organized by the School of Journalism and Communication from Xinjiang University, Urumqi, and  the National Center for Radio and Television Studies from the Communication University of China, Beijing.  After the introductory speeches by the Dean of Communication School, prof. Zhang Libin, and the  conference organiser, prof. Liang Zheng, both from Xinjiang University, the distinguished key note speakers Prof. Hu Zhengrong (Communication University of China, Beijing),  Prof. Zhao Yuezhi (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Prof. Colin Sparks (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong) and Prof. Marguerite Moritz (University of Colorado, Boulder) presented the central theme of "International Communication and Central Asian Development" and opened up the discussion on 'Central Asia and the Geopolitics of Communication'.  In the panel on "Media, Xinjiang, and Central Asia", chaired by prof. Moritz, Lutgard Lams gave a talk on the Belgian press representation of Xinjiang. Kevin Peters from Web International English discussed shifting traditions in Xinjiang and Milica Pesic from the Media Diversity Institute, London presented a speech on "professional Journalism and the Question of Ethnicity". 

The second conference was held from 24 to 26 October at  the enchanting West Lake in Hangzhou. The Fourth International Conference of Multicultural Discourses was organized by Prof. Shi-xu, Director of the  Institute of Discourse & Cultural Studies, Zhejiang University. Lutgard Lams shared her views on how the Chinese press frames the US and Japanese Other in sensitive times of diplomatic standoffs. The plenary sessions welcomed a variety of speakers from the four corners of the world, in the true spirit of the conference.

2013 BCCDS / HUB Annual lectures

posted Jul 17, 2013, 3:54 PM by Lutgard Lams   [ updated Dec 6, 2013, 5:38 AM ]

"Different perspectives on Intellectual Property Rights in China-EU Trade Talks", Mr Benoît Lory, EU Commission DG for Trade, Policy Officer, 5 December 2013

For this lecture, we were glad to welcome Mr Lory, EU CommissionTrade Negotiator responsible for IPR issues with China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Mongolia, who shared his rich insight into IPR matters in the EU as well as in China. He first discussed a study on 'IPR-intensive industries' by the EU Observatory on IPR infringements, and talked about new production patterns and China's ambition to move up the value chain in certain areas like biotechnology, new materials, etc.  Then we were given a survey of current IP legislative actions in China and its growing IP awareness (record numbers in patent filings and dramatic increase of IP litigation). Mr Lory also explained in detail the EU-China cooperation (e.g. IP Dialogue, IP Working Group, Technical cooperation programmes, Custom Action Plan, bilateral agreement on GIs, etc.). The presentation was followed by a lively debate on the origin of Chinese perspectives on IPR (combination of culture, politics, education) and different negotiation styles between Chinese and EU trade negotiators. The lecture also served as a useful exercise for our students of simultaneous interpretation. Thanks to the speaker, audience, and interpreters!


"Diversity underlying surface similarity: a debate of values - Case study: changing values of Shanghai and Beijing managers?", dr. Thomas Herdin (University of Salzburg), 7 November 2013

In this lecture, Prof. Herdin offered a keen insight into findings of his research project aimed to understand China's transformation. Interestingly, factors like the Chinese rural/urban divide and differences between life in Shanghai/Beijing seem to play more of a role in shaping managers' values than demographics such as generational differences. Thomas Herdin also showed how underneath the homogenization/decline of exotic-ness/cultural surface synchronization (secondary values) through transcultural lifestyles, basic (primary) values remain deeply rooted and hidden beneath the surface of the iceberg.

"Epistemological challenges: Aristotelian Logic vs Taoist & Dialectical Thought", dr. Thomas Herdin (University of Salzburg), 8 November 2013

In a sequel to the evening lecture on  the dynamics of cultural surface synchronization and deep-rooted primary values, Prof. Herdin approached the value debate from a more philospohical angle and looked at implications for the academic mindset and for analyzing intercultural/transcultural communication.


"Progress of Cross-Strait Integration between China and Taiwan: Are Models of European Integration Relevant?", dr. David Huang (Academia Sinica, National Taiwan University), 2 July 2013
On 2 July, Dr. David Huang brought a lecture on the relevance of European integration model for the progress of Cross-Strait integration between China and Taiwan. He gave a survey of essential features of European and Cross-Strait integration, discussing its political aspect disguised as a functional and economic integration. In his opinion, the functioning and implementation of new regulations for Cross-Strait exchanges since the Kuomintang President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008, so far cannot match the highly institutionalized and legalized status of the European integration. Dr. Huang explained the various interpretations of some key phrases in the debate on the China/Taiwan relations and discussed the more recent Chinese government’s discursive move to enhance a common perception and recognition of the ‘one China framework’ while allowing economic and social integration between China and Taiwan to intensify.  On the basis of several opinion polls on cultural and political identity, he concluded that further Cross-Strait integration does not only institutionalize the distinction of administrative jurisdiction between the Chinese and Taiwanese governments, but it also sharpens the distinction between Taiwan and Chinese identity among Taiwanese people.

2013 Seminars in China

posted Jun 18, 2013, 3:27 AM by Lutgard Lams   [ updated Jun 18, 2013, 4:49 AM ]

In the second half of April, Frank Gotzen and Lutgard Lams were invited by the School of Public Affairs at the University of Science & Technology of China (USTC), Hefei (Anhui Province) to give a series of lectures to the Ph.D. students of Public Affairs. Frank Gotzen also visited the  Chinese Intellectual Property Office, Anhui Branch and discussed recent developments of IP protection in China with the Director of the Office. Lutgard Lams met with the Head of the International Office of USTC  and the Vice-Dean ofthe USTC News Center and  Deputy-Director of USTC Center for Science Communication.
Lut Lams with her students on the class of EU Institutions and Communication

2012 BCCDS / HUB Annual Lectures

posted Mar 14, 2012, 3:06 AM by Lutgard Lams

“Perception and Functioning of IPR in China”, March 12, 2012


Further to the discussion at the exploratory workshop, the 1st BCCDS-Contact Forum in 2010, the existing gap between the implementation, functioning and discourses on IPR issues in China remains considerably large. European and Chinese legal scholars and IPR lawyers who follow BCCDS-WG's research interests recognize the fact there is a constant and slow convergence on IPR concepts between China and the West. However, more endeavors for bridging such a gap are also deemed necessary among concerned parties in the "glocalization" context. In this regard, BCCDS-WG devoted one of its lectures in 2012 to a further exploration of the question about "Perception and Functioning of IPR in China".


The lecture was given on March 12, by Prof. dr. Li Yi from the School of Public Affairs, University of Science and Technology of China on “Perception and Functioning of IPR in China”. Prof. Li Yi explained how the Chinese IPR national policy is implemented on the provincial level with an example of the 12th five-year plan on IPR in Anhui Province.  He also gave a survey of the number of patent applications and offered some examples of local patent disputes. At his School of Public Affairs, trainings are provided for patent agents and Prof. Li Yi expressed the need for further international exchange. With the enthusiastic participation of the audience, among which members of the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights at the Catholic University of Louvain as well as a partner from a European Law Firm in Hong Kong, a discussion followed about practical implications of IPR policy development, especially after China’s entering of WTO, differences noted between practices of foreign and domestic patent applications in China, and difficulties involved in foreign license applications for technology transfer.


A 'family picture' after the 2012 BCCDS / HUB Annual Lecture (Prof. L. Lams, Prof. F. Gotzen and Prof. Li Yi.)   

BOOK LAUNCH : European Perspectives of Taiwan

posted Feb 21, 2012, 7:53 AM by Lutgard Lams   [ updated Mar 7, 2012, 7:25 AM ]

BOOK LAUNCH "European Perspectives of Taiwan",
EIAS, Brussels, 15:30-18: 15, 27th February  2012
The book "European Perspectives on Taiwan" is part of the series "Ostasien im 21. Jahrhundert" (East Asia in the 21st Century) and published with the support of the European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT) of the University of Tuebingen. Many well-known experts from many disciplines have contributed a chapter to this book, discussing issues and questions related to various perspectives from Europe on Taiwan in the various disciplines. Four of these experts, Dr Jens Damm, Prof. Dr. Paul Lim, Dr. Ann Heylen and Dr. Lutgard Lams, will elaborate more in-depth on their contributions during this book launch.
BCCDS-WG Convener, Lut Lams (L2) was introduced by Mr. Georges Legros, Vice-Chairman of the Belgium Hong Kong Society and Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide.  Co-editor of the publication, Prof. Jens Damm (L1), Taiwan and Prof. Paul Joseph Lim (R1), Malaysia came especially from their affliated institutes to attend the book launch event in Brussels.  H.E. Mr. David Lin, Representative of the Taipei Representative Office in the European Union and Belgium (R3), Mr. Francesco Meggiolaro, Desk Officer for Taiwan, European External Action Service (L3) were both invited to comment on the newly launched book. 

BCCDS at the EIAS (European Institute for Asian Studies) conference at European Parliament

posted Jan 12, 2012, 10:48 AM by Lutgard Lams   [ updated Jan 12, 2012, 11:09 AM ]

Dr. Lutgard Lams was invited by the European Institute for Asia Studies (EIAS) in her competence of the Convener of the BCCDS Group to present a briefing titled ‘Taiwanization - A dynamic discursive process  in the face of glocalization'. The presentation of  Dr. Lams highlights key discursive elements from the policy statements of two major Taiwanese  2012 Presidential candidates, President Ma Ying-joeu (KMT) and Dr. Tsai Ying-wen (DPP) to clarify their different options regarding Taiwan's future in the dynamic of the local democratization, the Cross-Strait relations, the regional integration in the Asia-Pacific region as well as of the globalization. The presentation happened at the occasion of the 28th Taiwan-European Conference: EU's development and contemporary Greater China on December 19, 2011 at the European Parliament, Brussels. The participants includes several MEPs, diplomats in Brussels, IR scholars and experts  from EU and Asia.    

                                                        Image source: Central News Agency

BCCDS-Work Group at Jinan University, Guangzhou

posted Dec 6, 2011, 6:18 AM by Lutgard Lams   [ updated Dec 6, 2011, 6:19 AM ]

BCCDS-Work Group and Law School & Intellectual Property School,  
Jinan University, Guangzhou
November 3 2011

Lunch meeting with Prof. Zhu Yikun, Dean of Jinan University Law School (3rd Right); Prof. Xu Xuan, Deputy Dean of Jinan University Law School-Intellectual Property School (2nd Left), Prof. Zhao Kexiang, Research Center for Intellectual Property Rights and Rule of Law, Jinan University (1st Left) and Lutgard Lams. BCCDS-Work Group.


   Discussion session between Prof. Zhao Kexiang,                             Prof. Zhu Yikun, Dean of Jinan
   L. Lams and a group of Chinese MA and PhD students                   University Law School (L);
   on application of  Chinese Discourse Studies in IPR                        Prof. Xu Xuan, Deputy Dean of Jinan
   studies. (November 3rd, 2011, Guangzhou, China)                         University Law School-IPR School (R)

BCCDS-Work Group at Beijing University, China

posted Nov 28, 2011, 12:32 PM by Lutgard Lams   [ updated Dec 6, 2011, 6:00 AM ]

On November 2 2011, BCCDS-Work Group Covenor, Lutgard Lams visited Beijing University, China.   

Prof. Wang Dong, Associate Professor & Director, School of International Studies, Center for Northeast Asian Strategic Studies at Beijing University shared interests on applying BCD to analyze China's foreign policy and international relations and welcomed opportunities with BCCDS-Work group for suitable joint research project.

Pilot Event of BCCDS-Working Group, 2010

posted May 7, 2011, 9:09 AM by Lutgard Lams   [ updated Nov 28, 2011, 12:31 PM ]

Pilot Event of HUB Working Group on “Discourses in and about China” 

February 1, 2010

Topic: Discourses on the Cross-Strait Rapprochement

Guest speaker: Leou Chia-feng (SOAS, Ph.D. Cand.)

For this event, a guest speaker, Leou Chia-feng, was invited to give a talk on “Discourses on the Cross-Strait Rapprochement” at the HUB Campus Koningsstraat on 1st February 2010. The session was opened by Lut Lams who explained the purpose of the meeting, upon which the participants from various Belgian universities and EU institutions introduced themselves to facilitate tracking common interests. The guest speaker then presented his recent research on the diverging perspectives concerning the political economy of the changing Cross-Strait relations. Referring to various media reports, the speaker discussed the complexity involved in the discursive construction of the renewed rapprochement and raised questions about implications on the practical level, such as Cross-Strait exchange of agricultural produce and intellectual property right matters.

The talk was followed by a lively discussion about the discourses on the impact of China’s rising influence not only on the Asia-Pacific region, but also on a global scale. Various avenues for future workshops within a joint research framework were put forward:

- the role of discourse in the Cross-Strait issue

- China’s current self-profiling discourse in the international realm (e.g. soft power strategies and public diplomacy through expansion of its media following the Al Jazeera model, the establishment of Confucius Institutes)

- the discursive aspect of Chinese humanitarian aid, economic development and peace-keeping programs worldwide

- the newly emerged IPR issue (for example, ‘shan-zhai’ (copycatting))

- domestic rise of Chinese nationalist discourses against foreign capitalist ‘imperialism’ (recent Google case)                          

About the Guest Speaker:

Dr. LEOU Chia-feng, Ph. D. (SOAS, London), specializes in Taiwan’s Democratization and Financial Governance. He currently works as Director of the Opinion Pages of the Formosa Weekly. Previously, he served as Director of Planning and Training at Ketagalan Institute, Taipei (2006-2008), Human Rights Officer at Liberal International, London (2003-2004), Secretary at the Office of the President, Taipei (2000-2002).

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