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CPG Events Series on Peace and Security in Asia “The US-China Rivalry and the Future of Multilateralism and Global Trade: Developments, Challenges and Prospects”

29 November from 15:00 - 17:00



CPG events series on peace and security in Asia


“The US-China Rivalry and the Future of Multilateralism and Global Trade: Developments, Challenges and Prospects”


29 November 2023, 3:00-4:45 pm

Faculty of Law, Thammasat University (Tha Prachan Campus)


Special lecture


Professor Dr. Frank Altemöller

Institute of Customs and International Trade Law, University of Münster



presented by the


Peace & Security Center,

German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance (CPG)



Concept Note

The rivalry between the United States and China has emerged as the defining paradigm of 21st-century international relations. This rivalry has a profound influence on strategic discourse and far-reaching effects on global political, economic, and military dynamics. As this contest unfolds, its repercussions extend well beyond the borders of these two superpowers, affecting countries and regions across the globe. One of the most significant battlegrounds for the Sino-US great power competition is the global trade system.

Multilateralism and participation in the global trading system continue to offer significant opportunities in the future. Although binding under international law, the multilateral system, however, is facing ever greater obstacles from a power-oriented perspective, ranging from blatant violations of the law to consistent rejection of its functioning on key issues by major trading partners.

Against his backdrop, the special lecture will address the question of why, unlike in the past, there is no unconditional consensus on the maintenance of the multilateral order or even on its further development in the face the rising dominance-driven ambitions and power struggle among the two global players. Actors are challenged to adapt and position themselves within this dynamic process.

The talk will also show that there is less and less interest in continuing the long-lasting phase of steadily progressing trade liberalization of the past decades. This requires a process of transformation in which it will be important to find trade policy solutions that extend beyond traditional multilateralism.

Further, against the backdrop of a growing China, the U.S. is impressively questioning the current world trade order, which it has initiated and steadily expanded. But what will take the place of the previous one? Will it be an unclear and confusing multipolarity, or can the US succeed in creating the contours of a new order that is grounded in a hegemonic divergence from China and cooperation with its allies? These questions will also be discussed in the lecture.

The lecture will contribute to a deeper understanding of the evolving dynamics of international trade and diplomacy. It will offer stakeholders entry points to explore alternative strategies and approaches beyond traditional multilateralism.

Part of the monthly held events series on peace and security in Asia hosted by the Peace & Security Center of the German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance (CPG), the event addresses policymakers, diplomats, international relations and international trade experts, academics specializing in global affairs, and businesspeople with a vested interest in international trade and the evolving dynamics of the global trading system.


(The event will be held in English.)



Frank Altemöller

The speaker will be Professor Dr. Frank Altemöller from the Institute of Customs and International Trade Law at the University of Münster. He specializes in world trade and regional integration, as well as in international economic and business law from an interdisciplinary perspective.

He formerly served as member of the Economic and Environmental Committee of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, that focused trade facilitation, and as Director of the “Master of Customs Administration, Policy and Law” program, offered by the Faculty of Law of the University of Münster in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation and the World Customs Organization, among others.

Recent publications of Professor Altemöller include “The China-US Trade Conflict and its impact on the World Trade System and the Future of Multilateralism,” Global Trade and Customs Journal (2022); “A Perspective for WTO Dispute Settlement in the Crisis of Multilateralism?,” European Journal of Business Law (2022, in German); and  “WTO Appellate Body Without Legitimacy?: The Criticism of the Dispute Settlement System and the Response of the WTO Member States,” Global Trade and Customs Journal (2021).


Event registration is essential for participation; individuals interested are encouraged to do so by visiting the link or QR code provided below. More information, please email us at events@cpg-online.de

⇒ Registration ⇐


29 November
15:00 - 17:00


+66 2 613 2971
View Organizer Website


Faculty of Law, Thammasat University
2 Phrachan Road
Bangkok, 10200 Thailand
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+66 2 613 2971