How to deal with China - A Dialogue between European and Japanese experts on China


Veranstaltung unseres Partners DIJ Tokyo

2024-04-04, 13:00 - 15:00 (JST) オンライン

The impressive rise of China has had a major impact on the world economy in terms of the level and the structure of trade and investment flows. There has been a strong belief or hope that China’s economic development and its increasing integration into the world economy would also spur political reforms at home towards a more inclusive and democratic society. Privatization of state companies, burgeoning entrepreneurship and the opening up of the Communist Party to entrepreneurs pointed in that direction. However, recent trends seem to refute these expectations.

Under Xi Jinping’s leadership, the Communist Party has redefined its ideological stance propagated as socialism with Chinese characteristics, strengthened regulations towards state surveillance, upgraded its military power, and moved away from the original “one country, two systems” approach on Hong Kong while upholding its claims against Taiwan. Internationally, supported by extensive infrastructure initiatives, it is positioning itself as new global power, a leader of the Global South and a challenger of US hegemony. At the same time, China also faces many issues at home, such as regional disparities, widening income gaps, environmental pollution, climate change, demographic change and a real estate bubble. The strong centralization of power does by itself neither ensure a monolithic structure nor political stability or immunity against popular discontent, as China’s history demonstrates. There are tensions between the military and the Party, among regions and the regions and the center.

Given China’s indisputable economic and geopolitical importance, China cannot be ignored, passed or de-coupled. It is at the same time a partner, a competitor as well as an ideological and possible military opponent in the evolving multipolar world order. When dealing with China, how should we sort these different relational aspects? How should we balance the advantages of economic integration with political and economic security concerns? How can we maintain a constructive exchange without jeopardizing our own interests? 

Naturally, there will be more than one answer to these questions. They will depend not only on the depth of our knowledge about China, but also from where – both geographically and ideologically – we look at China. With this in mind, it is important that we listen to experts with diverse backgrounds. This conference brings together European and Japanese experts on China with backgrounds in business and academia to discuss and weigh diverse perspectives, experiences, and recommendations for a sound China strategy.


English and Japanese with simultaneous interpretation


GAS, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo
German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ Tokyo), Max Weber Foundation
Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai)


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