On the crystal-clear autumn evening of 28. September 2023, the book presentation for “On the Tide” took place in the Blauer Salon, Palais Niederoesterreich at the heart of Vienna. Focusing on current issues, the book is composed of a collection of the transcripts of the online forums organized by Urban Forum and SINOPRESS in the past two-three years, enriched by a dozen essays by experts of related fields.
The Salon was fully occupied by guests from academia, diplomacy, politics, business, art and culture. Dr.Bernhard Mueller, Secretary General of Urban Forum, gave the opening speech and welcomed all the honored guests. The publisher of the book, editor-in-chief of SINOPRESS Mag. Helena Mundstein introduced the book to the guests. She explained why the book is titled “On the Tide.” The world is on the tide, she said, full of uncertainty for humanity. Ideological conflicts between East and West continue to escalate, leading to human rights issues, wars and refugees, terrorist attacks, economic shortages, and potential political stigma. A sudden pandemic only adds salt to the wound and ensures that geopolitical considerations gain a more decisive role in governments’ foreign policies. Meanwhile, the challenge of climate change, as well as the impact of social media and AI, are all key issues in reshaping the world, for better or worse.
The previous online forums covered topics such as “Terrorist Attack, Security and Human Rights,” “Protection of Civilians in Terrorism Prevention,” “The Role of NGOs in the Process of Human Civilization,” “Nobel Peace Prize and Peacemaking,” “Sport vs. Politics,” “Modern Warfare and Urban Security,” “Structural Violence and Public Order,” “Human Rights Monitoring Mechanism, ” and “Human Security in the Post-Pandemic Digital Age,” etc. The transcrips provide the readers with a concrete overview of the deep-going discussions.
The essays in the book opened more perspectives on the related topics, including a review of China in the past 20 years, the challenges of high-tech in today’s world, an interpretation of double moral standards, and the interaction between the EU, China, and the USA, guaranteeing the readers a value-added experience.
As is said in the foreword by the esteemed former president of Austria Dr. Heinz Fischer: “Talking and listening to each other even when opinions differ, exchanging views, and wanting to understand the other side has prevented many catastrophes in the past. This is by no means a call to abandon attitudes and convictions or condone actions that are contrary to one’s own values, but without a willingness to talk, we will not be able to avert wars in the future, nor will we be able to overcome major global challenges such as poverty, social inequality or climate change and global warming, because we can only do this together.”
The platform built up by Urban Forum and SINOPRESS concentrates exactly on this task. With renowned experts from Europe as panelists, the forums aim to be objective, academic and scientific. The panelists and participants express their sincere opinions and insightful views without somehow having to play the left-right dichotomy. As is clearly observed, this platform has become a valuable place of exchange where neither side dominates the word.
The book presentation was highlighted by the round of discussion moderated by MMag. Alice Schmatzberger, founder of ChineCultureDesk. Participated by Mag. Raphael Spoetta (leader of the project group security politics for the young SPOE), MMag. Florian Horn (Lawyer) and Dr. Bernhard Mueller, the round probed into the human future, with the intertwining power of AI, digital security, climate change and more. The young Saxophone player Yingying Wang offered the evening enchanting moments with wonderful music pieces including Pink Panther.
The lively chatting among the guests over good wine, gourmet food, in the room and on the balcony lasted late into the night brightened by the shining full moon.