Berlin and Beijing: German China Policy After Merkel

No single event over the coming year may have bigger implications for international efforts to counter China than the German federal election on September 26. Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose pro-engagement policy towards China has shaped the broader European approach for more than a decade and a half, will step aside, opening the door to what could be a shift in Berlin’s stance. While we do not expect radical change in how Germany approaches the relationship with its biggest trading partner, we consider a shift towards a harder line in Berlin likely. How significant this shift turns out to be will depend in part on the election result, the coalition government that emerges and who ends up running it. So this election does matter, not only for Germany’s stance on China, but also the broader European and multilateral response to Beijing on issues ranging from human rights and climate to trade and technology. In this note, we sketch out the different election scenarios, their implications for Berlin’s policy towards China, and what to look out for under a new German government.

Posted July 22, 2022
Share
Facebook Twitter Pinterest

Transatlantic Stress Test: The TTC and China

On September 29, the first ministerial-level meeting of the US-EU Trade and Technology Council is due to take place in Pittsburgh. Agreed during President Joe Biden’s visit to Europe in June, the TTC is an ambitious effort to foster closer transatlantic cooperation on a broad range of topics. Although the forum is not specifically aimed at China, it will be a first real test of whether Washington and Brussels can channel their shared concerns about Beijing into concrete action.

Tensions over the Afghanistan pullout and Australia’s decision to drop a major submarine contract with France in favor of a deal with the US and UK have injected new uncertainty into transatlantic ties and the TTC itself: Paris is reportedly pressing the European Commission to delay the meeting in Pittsburgh. Though the diplomatic rift is real, the shared US and EU concerns that led to the creation of the TTC are not going away. When the TTC does meet, we expect to see signals that both sides are committed to working together in areas like export controls, investment screening, semiconductor supply chains, artificial intelligence, and possibly forced labor.

Posted July 22, 2022
Share
Facebook Twitter Pinterest

All the World’s a Stage: Top Risks for Corporates Around the Beijing Winter Olympics

If the 2008 Summer Olympics was an affirmation of China’s arrival on the global stage, the 2022 Winter Olympics is shaping up as a test of Beijing’s political red lines, the critics determined to cross them, and the corporations that are often caught in between. As much as Beijing wants the Olympics to be a smooth affair, the event will be taking place in a highly charged geopolitical climate. Foreign businesses with China exposure will have to navigate a minefield of contentious issues that could trigger political flare-ups. The following are the key risks on Rhodium’s radar as the Winter Olympics gets underway this week.

Posted July 22, 2022
Share
Facebook Twitter Pinterest