- EU presents Indo-Pacific strategy
- US, UK and Australia forge alliance
- Expats have a harder time settling in under Covid
- CATL joins forces with BASF
- IfW: Green Party and FDP are particularly critical of China
- China pushes into transpacific partnership
- Europe plugs tariff loophole
- Congo kicks out Chinese mining company
- Moderate earthquake in Sichuan
- Profile: author Chen Qiufan
China is being surrounded. At least that’s how Beijing’s must feel. First, the US, the UK, and Australia agreed on a security pact directed at China. Then, on the very same day, the EU presents its Indo-Pacific strategy at long last. In addition, Japan’s navy has begun a large-scale maneuver off the Chinese coast. It almost seems as if there had been collusion. But this much communication between major nations would be too much to ask in this day and age. The timely proximity was a mere coincidence.
But those who become so clearly constrained at their coast swerve in the other direction. No wonder China is looking for new allies along the Silk Road in Central Asia. And it’s no wonder, either, that the foreign ministry in Beijing reacted quite peeved to the astonishingly parallel initiatives, as Amelie Richter reports. In any case, the increasingly official siege in the Pacific is not helping the country open up.
Conversely, China is currently doing everything in its power to deter visitors and expats. Western vaccinations are not approved for exemptions; the quarantine is particularly long; the hurdles for visiting family in Germany are higher than ever. In addition, a newfound nationalism and less favorable tax laws are vexing. Marcel Grzanna took a closer look at how this affects the German community. Settling in is currently even harder than usual, and worries are even greater. We give tips on how to deal with the situation.
Johnny Erling has taken this week off. So instead of his weekly column, today’s edition features a profile of Chen Qiufan, a science fiction author who focuses primarily on ecological issues. The best-selling author has probably done more to help people understand the gravity of ecological destruction than all United Nations studies combined. In his latest project, Chen now turns his attention to the dangers of artificial intelligence.
Indo-Pacific strategy: USA snubs EU
This is probably not what Brussels had in mind. Shortly before the presentation of the European Union’s long-announced Indo-Pacific strategy, Australia, the US and the UK are surprising the Europeans with their own security pact that also applies to the Pacific region. Australia’s participation is particularly painful. After all, the oceanic continent was supposed to be an important partner in the EU’s venture – and would even have been the largest in terms of area.
So instead of jointly responding to China’s growing power play, competing initiatives are suddenly underway. Australia’s motivation was presumably a bait-and-switch offer by the US: to help it build nuclear-powered submarines. The armaments heavyweight France, which has now had a multi-billion dollar submarine deal with Canberra ditched as a result, feels particularly bent out of shape.
France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian felt “angry and very bitter about this break-up.” He accused US President Biden of acting like his predecessor Donald Trump. “This brutal, unilateral, unpredictable decision looks very much like what Mr. Trump used to do,” Le Drian told radio station Franceinfo.