UCF Global Perspectives


GP Student Attends St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs

Hannah Klonowski, China-Taiwan Cross Strait Fellow

February 15, 2019

As treasurer of the International Relations Club (IRC), my fellow Executive Board members and I select an internationally-focused conference each semester and take along several of our club members for an enlightening educational experience. This semester, we decided to take 11 students to the 7th Annual St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs. The keynote speaker was retired Career Ambassador Chas Freeman, and he spoke on: “After the Trade War, a Real War with China?” As the China-Taiwan fellow, this topic was especially interesting to me and I felt that Ambassador Freeman accurately analyzed current U.S. relations with China and gave some excellent, albeit worrying, predictions as to the future of the relationship in the event that the trade talks are unsuccessful.


The conference panels covered a wide variety of topics and featured many experiences and dignified speakers. Included in the long list of international relations experts were retired Ambassador Prudence Bushnell, retired Lieutenant Colonel Orlando Acosta and former foreign correspondent for TIME magazine William Dowell. The panels tackled a plethora of complex and relevant topics, and covered everything from China to immigration policy.


Overall, the conference provided an excellent opportunity to learn about a myriad of internationally-focused issues and a chance to network and converse with experts in the field. The leading conference organizers recognized our IRC members for our interest in and dedication to the promotion of discussion about international relations. Personally, I felt that the conference informed me in great detail on some of today’s most pressing international dilemmas. I was grateful for the opportunity to speak with former ambassadors and other political experts about international affairs, I am look forward to attending the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs next year.

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