Waterloo, Canada - Over 200 leading experts from around the world will convene in Waterloo, Canada, on October 25-26 to discuss the political and economic impacts of China's rise on the world stage at a conference hosted by The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

"CIGI'08: China in the Shifting World Order" will explore the ramifications of China's emergence as a world power and how international governance structures and different regions of the world are adjusting to this new force.  This will be CIGI's fourth annual conference, a landmark event that brings together accomplished researchers, policy makers, business leaders and journalists to define and debate issues of critical global importance and identify innovative practices that can assist in meeting global challenges.  Co-sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), CIGI'08 is organized in partnership with the University of Waterloo.

Jim Balsillie, the Chair of CIGI's Board, commented, "In this year of extraordinary events China has moved towards the centre of the stage. From the remarkable Beijing Olympics through the financial crises of the fall, an understanding of contemporary China has become essential for governments, businesses and informed citizens everywhere."

His Excellency Cheng Siwei, former Vice-Chairman of the 9 th and 10 th Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China and leader of the Chinese delegation to Davos (2006, 2007 and 2008), will deliver the keynote address on October 25. Ambassador Cheng is currently Chair of the China Democratic National Construction Association.  The Honourable Barbara McDougall, Chair of the Board of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, will also deliver a keynote address on October 25.

Distinguished participants include: His Excellency Lan Lijun, current Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Canada; Harry Broadman, Managing Director, Albright Group and former Economic Adviser for the Africa Region at the World Bank; The Right Honourable Joe Clark, Former Prime Minister of Canada; Joseph Caron, Canadian High Commissioner in India and former Canadian Ambassador to China; Su Changhe, Dean of the School of International and Diplomatic Affairs at the Shanghai International Studies University; Ma Zhengang, President of the China Institute of International Studies; and Zhu Yinghuang, former Editor-in-Chief of the China Daily.

In conjunction with the conference, CIGI will issue several new publications illustrating its growing research related to China. Topics include China's new economic diplomacy, the political and economic impacts of China's ascendancy in Africa, higher education transformation, China's role as a bridge for expanding regional and world trade, and poverty studies by young Chinese scholars. Additionally, CIGI will launch a new book examining the position of China and other leading emerging powers in the potential transformation of the G8 and other aspects of global governance. See attached backgrounder for more details on these publications.

Parallel to CIGI'08, CIGI is organizing a China Policy Forum in Beijing with more than 50 participants from various Chinese research institutions and universities. The forum will focus on the sustainability of economic growth in China, issues of poverty and inequality, energy and environment and China's role in the global financial systems. The program includes a live video link between Beijing and Waterloo providing direct interaction between participants of both events. Full proceedings of the Beijing China Policy Forum will also be shown at CIGI on the second day of the conference.

For a complete list of participants and the agenda, please visit http://www.cigi08.org/.

The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.