The world is undergoing great changes unprecedented in over a century. Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, profound adjustments have been seen in the international economy, science and technology, culture, and in the security and political landscapes. The world has entered a phase featuring unrest and change. The post-epidemic world in 2021 continues to encounter challenges. How can we observe and understand the world amid these great changes? How should China, as one of the most influential actors amid the changes, respond to it? To answer these questions, the Institute of Area Studies, Peking University, in partnership with PKU’s School of Economics, hosted a series of New Buds salons on the theme of “Senior diplomats talk about the unprecedented great changes in over a century” at the third anniversary of the establishment of the Institute.
The 30th New Buds Salon, on March 30, invited Zhai Jun, Chinese special envoy for Middle East affairs and former Chinese Ambassador to France, to make a presentation focusing on “The World and Middle East amid Great Changes.” Zhai analyzed the major features in the current international situation and the situation in Middle East, gave suggestions for China’s response to the new international situation and speculated on the future of China’s policy toward the Middle East. At the end of the Salon, Zhai answered questions from the audience members, and discussed Chinese-Israeli relations and the relations between China and Middle Eastern countries in the aftermath of COVID-19.