SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

China - Challenge or Threat? In conversation with Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QC, former Foreign and Defence Secretary

Sir Malcolm Rifkind
Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QC (Former Foreign and Defence Secretary)

Date: 7 December 2017Time: 8:00 PM

Finishes: 7 December 2017Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Senate House Room: SALT (110)

Type of Event: Talk

7:30 pm Doors Open, 8:00 pm Event Begins


The event is free for all to attend but you must register online.


Sir Malcolm is no stranger to China. As Foreign Secretary between 1995-1997, one of Sir Malcolm’s main duties were the final negotiations with China over the transfer of Hong Kong. In the lead up to the handover, he had several meetings with the Chinese Foreign Minister both in Beijing and in London, as well as with the Hong Kong Governor, Chris Patten, and elected Hong Kong politicians.


The Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QC was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1974 until 1997. In 1979, he was appointed a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, at first in the Scottish Office and then in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, promoted to Minister of State in 1983. He became a member of the Cabinet in 1986 as Secretary of State for Scotland. In 1990 he became Secretary of State for Transport and in 1992 he was appointed Secretary of State for Defence. From 1995-97 he held the post of Foreign Secretary. He was one of only four ministers to serve throughout the terms of Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

In 1997 he was knighted in recognition of his public service. Sir Malcolm was re-elected as a Member of Parliament in May 2005 for Kensington and Chelsea. He served as the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Welfare Reform until December 2005. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Kensington in May 2010 and remained in Parliament until 2015.

He served as UK representative on the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group 2010-2011 and as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, which provides oversight of the UK’s intelligence agencies, MI6, MI5 and GCHQ, from 2010 until 2015. He is currently a member of the OSCE’s Eminent Persons Group, which has reported on relations between Russia and the West. He also serves on the Board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington DC. He has been appointed a Visiting Professor at King’s College London and is a Senior Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

Organiser: Young China Watchers and SOAS China Institute

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