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Asia Update

July 2020

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



The World after COVID-19: Are we Heading into a New Systemic Competition?

We have launched a series of online conversations to explore how the looming systemic competition between China and liberal democracies is impacting business and politics. We are now opening this format to partners. If your institution is interested in co-organising an online discussion, please get in touch via Watch this short (German) video for further information.



China as a Transatlantic Challenge

The world is confronting unique changes in relations among the United States, Europe, and China, which have now been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. In February, 43 China specialists from the United States and Europe met in Berlin to take stock of the most recent China policy debates on both sides of the Atlantic and explore possibilities to enhance cooperation. Drawing on the expertise of all conference participants, the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations and the George Washington University China Policy Program, jointly published a comprehensive report on the changing U.S. and European views of, and relations with, China. Read and download the full report here.



Social Cohesion in Asia: Origins, Shapes, Dynamics

Societies with strong cohesion are considered more resilient in times of crisis, like the current corona pandemic. A new study shows what holds Asian societies together and which lines of conflict threaten their social cohesion. In this new publication, Aurel Croissant, Professor of Political Science at the University of Heidelberg, presents the results of a comparative study on social cohesion in eight Asian countries: China, Singapore, South Korea, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Myanmar. The study also looks at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and presents some preliminary reflections on the role of social cohesion for the resilience of societies and the capacity of states to act in the current crisis (Availabe in German only).



How Should Democracies Respond to China’s New National Security Law for Hong Kong?

In his contribution to a ChinaFile conversation, Bernhard Bartsch argues that Hong Kong is not a solitary issue. “Germany should dare to connect the dots and let China see that the emerging picture looks like one big warning sign! This may not only be the best Germany can do for Hong Kong—but the best it can do for itself.” Read the full article here.



World Class Patents in Cutting-Edge Technologies - The Innovation Power of East Asia, North America, and Europe

The international balance of power in innovation is shifting. When it comes to world-class patents in important cutting-edge technologies, the United States still occupies the leading position in almost every field. But China is catching up fast or has already overtaken the United States in some areas thanks to its much greater dynamic. This is the central finding of a new study by our colleagues from the Global Economic Dynamics Project on the development of national and regional portfolios of patents in cutting-edge technologies since 2000. Read and download the study here.



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Dr. Peter Walkenhorst

Senior Project Manager


Bertelsmann Stiftung

Carl-Bertelsmann-Str. 256

33311 Gütersloh


Tel: +49 5241 81-81172




The Bertelsmann Stiftung, based in Gütersloh, Germany, is a nonprofit, private

operating foundation in accordance with Section 1 of North Rhine-Westphalia's Foundation Law.

The district government of Detmold serves as its supervisory authority.

Founder: Reinhard Mohn

Chairman of the Board of Trustees: Prof. Dr. Werner J. Bauer

Executive Board: Dr. Ralph Heck (Chairman), Dr. Brigitte Mohn