The rivalry between the United States and the People’s Republic of China is redefining the geopolitical landscape, and Europe’s concern over China’s growing influence is mounting. The idea of the “China threat” has replaced the long-held belief in “change through trade”. The underlying assumption is that China will inevitably reach a dominant position in the foreseeable future. This round table discussion will explore this assumption how its domestic crises, including demographic challenges, decreasing productivity, and environmental degradation, affect Europe. These developments pose at least two sets of strategic questions for Europe: How can Europe adapt to this new geopolitical environment without becoming "too Chinese" in its approach, as well as how it can prepare for a China that is powerful enough to threaten international cooperation while remaining too vulnerable to become a responsible great power. In other words, Europe might need to prepare for a more nationalist China that pushes its chauvinist agenda more than ever. Not China’s strength but its vulnerability could pose the most severe strategic challenge to Europe.
Opening remarks: Guntram Wolff, Director, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Berlin
Speaker: Alicia Garcia-Herrero, Chief Economist for Asia Pacific at Natixis and Adjunct Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Comment: Tim Rühlig, Senior Research Fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Berlin
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