Germany

Members of Border Angels and migrants demonstrate at the US-Mexico border as part of International Migrants Day in Playas de Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico, on 18 December 2023. (Guillermo Arias/AFP)

Populism and anti-immigration fervour surges in the West

Taiwanese commentator Chen Kuohsiang notes that populist fervour and anti-immigration sentiments in the US and Europe embolden each other and form a vicious circle, dominating major political issues. This has led to the potential political comeback of former US President Donald Trump and the rise of opposition parties in Europe.
Shoppers outside a department store in Berlin, Germany, 14 December 2023. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg)

De-risking from China easier said than done for German companies

In theory, the Germans are supportive of the government’s call for greater economic independence from China. In practice, this is hard to implement. A roadmap and a better explanation to companies of how this will work and who will pay the price is needed, says The Berlin Pulse editor Jonathan Lehrer.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gestures as he addresses a summer press conference on domestic policy and diplomacy in Berlin, Germany, on 14 July 2023. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP)

Germany’s new China strategy: A drastic change

Germany’s newly unveiled “Strategy on China” echoed much of EU language in highlighting risks concerning competitiveness, supply chain resilience, national security and values in its recalibrated approach to China. While a de-risking strategy carries difficult trade-offs, there seems to be a broad consensus on the goals Germany wants to achieve.
People march as they participate in a May Day rally on 1 May 2023 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images via AFP)

Can China and Russia reject Western political civilisation and still prosper?

Researcher Wei Da notes that while many things can be learned and embraced from the West, its political civilisation is one that China has rejected. But isn't that rejecting the core while transplanting the branches and leaves? Will that work?
French President Emmanuel Macron gestures during the North Sea summit in Ostend, Belgium, on 24 April 2023. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)

EU strategic autonomy: Easier said than done

Academic Ye Shengzhou explains why French President Emmanuel Macron has been aggressively pushing for EU strategic autonomy, more so after his visit to China. But even if France puts its weight behind the concept, the path of achieving strategic autonomy is paved with obstacles.
Ukrainian service members prepare a mortar to fire toward Russian troops in the frontline town of Bakhmut, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released 13 February 2023. (Iryna Rybakova/Press Service of the 93rd Independent Kholodnyi Yar Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces/Handout via Reuters)

Bipolar world: Two main changes from the war in Ukraine

As the world marks one year of the war in Ukraine this month, commentator Jin Jian Guo looks at how the global situation has changed in that time, within the European continent and in the world at large. It is clear that in various aspects, Russia is not in a promising position, and China, as a pole that challenges the American order, will face significant obstacles.
Taiwanese soldiers demonstrate their combat skills during a visit by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at a military base in Chiayi, Taiwan, on 6 January 2023. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Taiwan Strait issue: Taking lessons from history

Tensions in China-US relations are increasing, with the Taiwan Strait issue central to the antagonism between the two major powers. Chinese academic Guo Bingyun assesses four models from history that the US may adopt in the event of an armed reunification, and why these approaches may or may not be effective.
People walk near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, 10 November 2022. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

Not too far, not too close: The French way of handling China

French academic Philippe Le Corre notes that France and China’s fairly close relationship seems to have eroded in recent years, mainly due to market access issues and the gaping trade deficit. While President Macron’s visit in 2023 could change the situation, France currently has no clear advantage over other powers in dealing with China.
Employees work on the assembly line during a construction completion event of SAIC Volkswagen MEB electric vehicle plant in Shanghai, China, 8 November 2019. (Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters)

Will Europe pour more money into China?

This year’s dramatic geopolitical changes have significantly altered the calculus for foreign investment in China as large European enterprises are increasingly taking the lead and Japanese businesses are retreating in manufacturing and advancing in services. American companies, on the other hand, are frozen as the US government imposes tough sanctions on China’s tech sector and as manufacturers weigh strategic moves back to the US.