Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February recalibrated the attention of the transatlantic community toward Europe while pushing the longer-term challenges posed by China to the backburner. Yet, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “pro-Russia” neutrality in the Ukraine conflict and joint efforts by Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin to weaken the liberal rules-based order have not gone unnoticed in European capitals and Washington DC. In addition, persistent concerns about Chinese human rights abuses, influence operations in Europe, unfair trade practices, economic coercion, and military pressure on Taiwan make it likely that China will remain high on the transatlantic agenda.
Xi has officially secured another five years as the head of the Chinese Communist Party and emerged from the 20th Party Congress in a strong position to advance his agenda, which includes reshaping international politics and global governance so it is more favorable to China’s interests. Strengthened, he will be even more confident in exerting Chinese influence regionally and globally, less risk averse, and likely even less willing to listen to alternative views from within the party system.
In light of this, transatlantic coordination and cooperation will be even more critical. Join ACG and 1014 for another discussion as part of their virtual series Democracies under Pressure: Challenges for the Global Liberal Order. We will be joined by Sinologists Dr. Kristin Shi-Kupfer and Yun Sun for German and American perspectives on the complex relationship with China.
Dr. Kristin Shi-Kupfer is a Professor of Sinology at the University of Trier and a Senior Associate Fellow at MERICS. She is an expert on China’s digital politics, media policy, civil society, and human rights.
From 2013 until September 2020, Dr. Shi-Kupfer headed MERICS’ research area on Public Policy and Society. She previously worked as a research associate at the University of Freiburg’s Institute for Sinology. She earned her Ph.D. from Ruhr University Bochum with a thesis on spiritual and religious groups in China after 1978. From 2007 to 2011, she was based in Beijing, covering China for various German-speaking media like the Austrian magazine Profil, the German Protestant Press Agency EPD, and the public radio station Deutsche Welle. Since 2019 she has been a member of the Sino-German Working Group on Digital Business Models initiated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Yun Sun is a Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the East Asia Program and Director of the China Program at the Stimson Center. Her expertise is in Chinese foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, and China’s relations with neighboring countries and authoritarian regimes.
From 2011 to early 2014, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, jointly appointed by the Foreign Policy Program and the Global Development Program, where she focused on Chinese national security decision-making processes and China-Africa relations. From 2008 to 2011, Yun was the China Analyst for the International Crisis Group based in Beijing, specializing in China’s foreign policy towards conflict countries and the developing world. Before ICG, she worked on U.S.-Asia relations in Washington, DC for five years. Yun earned her master’s degree in international policy and practice from George Washington University, as well as an MA in Asia Pacific studies and a BA in international relations from Foreign Affairs College in Beijing.