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The Hong Kong Diaries: In conversation with Lord Chris Patten

How do you negotiate with China? 25 years after one of the most pivotal moments in British-Chinese relations, we speak to Lord Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong. Between 1992 and 1997, Patten kept a diary describing in detail how Hong Kong was run as a British colony, what happened as the handover approached, and his efforts to secure political freedom for Hong Kong’s institutions. Unexpectedly, his opponents included not only the Chinese themselves, but some British businessmen and civil service mandarins upset by Patten’s efforts, for whom political freedom and the rule of law in Hong Kong seemed less important than keeping on the right side of Beijing. With unprecedented insights into negotiating with the Chinese, we’ll discuss Hong Kong, the handover and what has happened since. Join us for a ThinkIn with Lord Patten’s powerful assessment of recent events and his reflections on how to deal with China — then and now. editor and invited experts James HardingCo-Founder and Editor Lord Chris PattenGovernor of Hong Kong, 1992-1997


Should the UK leave the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth of Nations is home to 2.6 billion people and comprises 54 member states, most (but not all) with links to the former British Empire. The Queen has been head of the Commonwealth for more than seven decades, and Prince Charles has been agreed, in principle at least, as her successor. But as the UK considers the next chapter of the monarchy, would the Commonwealth be better off without the UK in it? Only 9% of UK trade is with the Commonwealth – despite all the talk of it being a major trading opportunity post-Brexit. With our greater understanding of the long-term impact of colonialism, is our continued involvement in the Commonwealth just an attempt to paper over the cracks caused by Britain’s imperial past, or do we still have a responsibility to be involved? editor and invited experts Jeevan VasagarClimate Editor Dr Sue OnslowDirector & Reader in Commonwealth History, Institute of Commonwealth Studies Kojo KoramLecturer at the School of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London Lord HowellFormer President of the Royal Commonwealth Society; Chairman of the Council of Commonwealth Societies


Does the UK have enough nukes?

Despite the UK’s commitments to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), last year the Johnson government announced that Britain will to grow its nuclear capability by up to 40%, equivalent to 260 warheads, citing risks from nuclear-armed states, emerging nuclear states and state-sponsored nuclear terrorism. The argument being that a nuclear deterrent is needed to guarantee the UK’s security and that of its allies.Opponents say that nuclear powers like the UK should use their influence to strengthen international arms control agreements and reduce – not increase – the number of nuclear weapons in existence. Do these steps by Johnson undermine the NPT?Renewing Trident will cost an eye-watering £130billion. Is it worth it? Can we afford it? Or is it the cost of maintaining peace in an uncertain world?  editor and invited experts Giles WhittellSensemaker Editor Dr Andrew CorbettFormer Trident Captain and Author of ‘Supreme Emergency: How Britain Lives with the Bomb’ Dr Hassan ElbahtimyDirector, Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) Dr Rebecca Eleanor JohnsonAcronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy


Is global order out of control?

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the ongoing effects of the global pandemic have shaken the world in the past two years like nobody could have predicted. Ramifications in the form of food shortages, inflation and mass displacement are increasing in severity — the UN recently announced that the number of displaced people has passed 100 million for the first time. How have such catastrophic events been handled, and what led us to them in the first place? Governments and organisations are responding collectively to support refugees, with resettlement and sponsorship schemes, for example. Simultaneously, the UK Government’s partnership with Rwanda is soon to launch. How does the way we respond to protracted human crises reflect society, and what does this mean for the global order?Join us for a ThinkIn with one of the most respected voices in global governance today, Rory Stewart, and award-winning journalist Helen Benedict, where we’ll discuss leadership, responsibility and empathy in an era of geopolitical turbulence. editor and invited experts James HardingCo-Founder and Editor Helen BenedictAward-winning Journalist and Author of ‘Map of Hope and Sorrow’ Rory StewartFormer Minister of State, Department for International Development


The changing world order: in conversation with Ray Dalio

This is a digital-only ThinkIn. When Ray Dalio makes predictions, the worlds of politics, finance and industry listen. As the founder of Bridgewater Associates, Ray is the genius behind the largest and best-performing hedge fund in the world and he’s recognised by Time and Bloomberg as one of the most influential people alive today. He foresaw the collapse of the banking system in 2008, and he accurately called the financial fallout in the U.S economy caused by the pandemic. In his latest book, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order, Ray examines history’s most turbulent economic and political periods to reveal why the times ahead will be radically different from those we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. Where does he stand on crypto? Could the US end up at war with China? What should we be worried about? Is disaster really on the horizon, and how should we prepare for it? Find out all the answers to these questions and more, by joining us for a ThinkIn with one of the world’s leading financial thinkers. editor James Harding Co-founder and Editor