Areas of Expertise

  • Technology and geopolitics 
  • China’s technical standardization power
  • China’s politics of 5G
  • EU-China and Germany-China relations
  • Foreign policy analysis of China
  • The political economy of the Chinese party-state
  • Hong Kong politics

Short Bio

Tim Rühlig is a senior research fellow in the Center for Geopolitics, Geoeconomics, and Technology at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). From November 2023 until July 2024, he is seconded to the European Commission where he serves as a “China fellow” at I.D.E.A, the advisory hub of the president. He also coordinates the working group on high technology and innovation of the “China in Europe Research Network” (CHERN), an EU Cost Action.

Rühlig investigates the growth of China’s power as the country’s footprint in digital technology increases, as well as EU-China and Germany-China relations. He continues to pursue the research on technical standardization and wireless infrastructure that he began conducting when he worked at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs from 2018 to 2021 and as a research fellow with DGAP’s former Technology and Global Affairs Program from September 2021 until December 2022. 

Rühlig’s book China’s Foreign Policy Contradictions was published by Oxford University Press in early 2022. His writing has appeared in China Perspectives, Development & Change, and China Review, among other publications. In 2018, he was the rotating chair of the European Think-Tank Network on China (ETNC).

Rühlig received his PhD from Frankfurt University with a thesis on sovereign state control in China’s foreign policy. He studied international relations and peace and conflict research at Frankfurt University and the Technical University of Darmstadt, as well as political science and cultural anthropology at Tübingen University.


English, German


[Last updated: November 2023]

Dr. Tim Rühlig


In the media


Toxische Türöffner

Smart Ports als geoökonomisches Handlungsfeld
Dr. Heiko Borchert
Dr. Tim Rühlig
Dr. Valentin Weber
Externe Publikationen

Why Germany’s New China Strategy Needs to Go Beyond Symbolism

Germany’s China policy was long shaped by the country’s economic interests and the illusion that engagement could help bring about change. Beijing’s more assertive foreign policy has led to an awakening in Berlin. But how far will the German government go in redefining its relations with China?

Dr. Tim Rühlig
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