3 Ideas on a More Cooperative World Order

The Graduate Union of Tsinghua University and the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange were pleased to host H.E. Ms. Federica Mogherini last week for the 6th edition of Top Talk+.

Ms. Mogherini is the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice President of the European Commission.

On behalf of the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange, Li Jinliang warmly welcomed Ms. Mogherini.


Hosted by Zhaoxi Chen from the School of Law, Ms. Mogherini began her talk by highlighting that this year is the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus exchange.

The programme has facilitated academic exchanges between Europe and China for over 3,000 students and professors. It is an important framework for academic and cultural exchange between the EU and China.


Given the current unrests and uncertainties in many parts of the world such as Syria and North Korea, Ms. Mogherini shared three ideas that will help move from the current state of affairs to a more cooperative world order.

1. Global powers must engage constructively in world affairs

Isolation does not help security nor economics. The EU and China are increasingly active as global security providers. The two played key roles in the negotiation for the Iran nuclear deal and ensuring that this is followed.

China’s greater engagement in the world can bring many opportunities as China and the EU have much common interests. Ms. Mogherini quoted President Xi's speech at Davos:”

"The building of a community of shared future for mankind, is the call of our time."

2. Search for win-win solutions

"No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war."

President Xi spoke in Davos that China must work with other countries to strengthen win-win cooperation. The greatest divide today is not East-West or North-South but between those who believe that international politics is a zero-sum game vs. those who work to find win-win solutions to build common ground.”

3. The importance of rules and building a rule-based global order

Rules are guarantees. International rules and guarantees are not threats but elements of certainty for everyone. Violations of global rules make the world less secure.”

"Humanity has never been so numerous, prosperous and healthy and this has been possible because progress has spread beyond borders. It has been possible thanks to globalization."

Globalization may not be beneficial for everyone as some sectors are hit harder than others. But de-globalization is not the answer. International trade must be free and fair, and this is an area that China and EU can make a difference worldwide.

Q & A


15 Questions were selected from students and the ones with the highest number of votes were presented to Ms. Mogherini.

1. With serious terrorist threats around the world, why does the EU still accept a large number of refugees?

We do not see a link between refugees and terrorist threats. We must de-link the two. Europe and other parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, and Americas, have been hit by terrorist threats. Most terrorist attacks in Europe have been perpetrated by Europeans, which is a reality by numbers.

International cooperation, including counter-terrorism, is needed. We have to work against radicalization of young people and on eliminating financing for terrorist groups.

It is our humanitarian duty as Europe itself is a continent of refugees.

We remember war and devastation. It is illegal according to international conventions to refuse entry to refugees. However, it is not and cannot be an only European responsibility. It has to be a responsibility shared with the rest of the world.

This is why we believe there should be a global responsibility sharing mechanism within the UN system.

2. What’s your take on Brexit? How does Brexit influence the conviction of European integration among EU leaders and members?

I’m the Vice President of the European Commission, I also chair three different conventions for the European Council. That is where the 28 member states come from. We’ll be 28 for a couple of years. 

One may think the referendum last year meant an immediate effect. But it took 9 months for the UK to finally go from the result of the referendum to the beginning of negotiations. Now we will start negotiations that will last a couple of years. It will be a difficult negotiation. The UK will have to dismantle their belonging to a community. 

We will lose an important member state. Let me tell you that all member states are equally important to me. But I’m afraid our British friends will lose more than we will lose. The EU even after the UK leaves, will still be the largest single market in the world and the second largest economy in the world.

3. What is your opinion on the One Belt One Road initiative?

I have more than an opinion. We have work ongoing. We have developed common projects to link European and Chinese investments through this platform.

We are looking at concrete projects on which we can cooperate. It is essential that opportunities are open to all, including Europeans.

We are also seeing ways in which this initiative can be linked to the European Investment Plan that we’re developing inside the EU.


Ms. Mogherini’s opinions and thoughts were insightful and enlightening. As the event drew to a close and a special gift from the students was presented to her, Ms. Mogherini replied:

谢谢 (xiexie).

Top Talk+ is an event created by the Graduate Union of Tsinghua University, focusing on non-academic exchanges in the fields of politics, business and culture. It has invited global leaders from all walks of life to offer their insights into career development, personal growth and other topics of interest.

Written and designed by Linda Lew

Photography by Haitong Yu

Some images have been sourced from the internet

Source: XiaoyanOnline @Wechat