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Asia Update

April 2021

Asia-related activities of Bertelsmann Stiftung and insights into important developments in the region.



Global Public Goods Require a Principled European China Policy and the Willingness to Cooperate

China's rise as a global economic power cannot be wished away and offers development prospects for many countries of the Global South. The EU should use its own market and regulatory power to defend global standards in human rights, climate and environmental protection. On this basis, it should make new offers of cooperation with China in the spirit of implementing the UN 2030 goals, argue Marina Rudyak and Bertram Lang in their contribution to our series "The New Systemic Conflict - What Decisions Germany is Facing" (in German). Read it here.



Cold War 2.0? Essential Readings on the New Systemic Conflict

EU-China relations have deteriorated dramatically in recent weeks. After the EU imposed sanctions against China on March 22, Beijing responded with retaliatory sanctions. China’s unprecedentedly harsh response has made it unmistakably clear that it is a systemic rival to democracies around the world that will subject liberal values to their greatest test since the early days of the Cold War. Europe must position itself vis-à-vis this strategic rivalry but finds itself lacking a consistent policy. In contrast, the U.S. is in the process of implementing its strategy toward China. Against this backdrop, transatlantic cooperation on China is more important than ever. Early indications are that this collaboration is finally picking up steam. Meanwhile economic and technological competition continues to accelerate. Read the complete literature review here.



„Interdependencies and Dependencies: China – Eastern Europe – European Union“

China’s ascendancy to the role of global player is also being felt in Eurasia. In Central Asia, China is the strongest economic power, while it maintains links with Russia in the form of a “strategic partnership”. Beijing and Moscow are in agreement when it comes to their rejection of universal values such as human rights and the “liberal” world order. Can this ambivalence be regulated, or are we on the threshold of a new international conflict between divergent systems? The Conference „Interdependencies and Dependencies: China – Eastern Europe – European Union“ from March 26 provided some answers. Watch the full conference here.



Made in China 2025

In 2015, the Chinese government presented “Made in China 2025”, one of its main development policies which aims to make the country a “manufacturing superpower” within the next few decades. It is part of the Chinese Communist Party’s goal of modernizing China and turning it into a fully developed nation by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. Our infographic shows some of its main targets. You can view it here.



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Dr. Peter Walkenhorst

Senior Project Manager


Bertelsmann Stiftung

Carl-Bertelsmann-Str. 256

33311 Gütersloh


Tel: +49 5241 81-81172




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