“Every 20 years, the tide turns in China.” This is how Christian Soffel observes politics in the People’s Republic. The sinologist identified the last turning point in 2008 when openness to the West peaked. Under Xi Jinping, things are going downhill at the moment, which also applies to European-Chinese relations. More than two years of the pandemic have made the exchange between the two blocs even more difficult. In big politics and exchange between scientists: “I miss the coffee breaks,” says the sinologist, “where the backgrounds are discussed.”
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