- Growing isolation and nationalism
- Ericsson pushed to the edge
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- BMW partner involved in financial scandal
- Head of Hong Kong journalists’ union arrested
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- Opinion: Beware of autocrats
In view of an increasingly belligerent China, Germany is debating a stronger decoupling from the People’s Republic. Experts are divided on how painful and, above all, how expensive such a decoupling would be for the German economy. But this question may no longer be relevant. Because the isolation process has long been in full swing. And it originates in China.
Isolation efforts are taking place on many levels, writes Marcel Grzanna in his analysis, listing a number of examples: Chinese companies are leaving foreign stock exchanges, English lessons in schools are scaled back, and most Chinese citizens are virtually no longer allowed to travel outside the country. In turn, foreigners are also less and less welcome in China. What such an isolationist policy will lead to can be seen clearly in the People’s Republic: nationalism is on the rise. And that, unfortunately, only makes China more dangerous.
Although Ericsson does not have it easy in China either, the Swedish communications equipment manufacturer plans to stay. Despite all the hurdles that local authorities are throwing in the way of the Swedish company, the Chinese market is already much larger than the domestic market, analyzes Frank Sieren. Ericsson cannot afford to abandon the Chinese market. A fundamental problem for many global companies.
Return to isolation
The Chinese Academy of Historical Research (CAHR) stirred up controversy in late August. It shared a post on social media that focused on the foreign policy of the Ming and Qing dynasties. At that time, the Chinese emperors had decreed a political, economic and cultural distance to foreign countries for centuries, which gave China the attribute of a “closed country”.
Readers immediately noticed the parallels to the year 2022 – more than 100 years after the fall of the Qing dynasty. Massive travel restrictions with no sign of change in the near future have kept China’s population effectively captive in their own country for more than two and a half years. The development of the so-called dual circulation economy is in full swing and is supposed to reduce dependencies on foreign countries to an absolute minimum in the long term.
Listed companies are returning to Chinese financial hubs from foreign stock exchanges – more or less willingly – because Chinese regulators are putting pressure on them. Beijing wants to keep its tech industry in particular away from the risk of falling into the headlock of foreign capital. The government also tightened localization quotas for state-owned enterprises last year. In public tenders, applicants must now present more components that are 100 percent made in China: “Buy Chinese” is the directive for the economy.