- Thomas de Maizière on Hong Kong and NATO’s China strategy
- China plans the world’s largest dam
- Beijing’s ignorant media policy
- Real estate prices rise rapidly
- Megvii plans IPO in Shanghai
- Alibaba to sell media stake
- Profile: Stefan Kahl
For many people living in China, it’s the very first thing they do in the morning: not a freshly brewed cup of coffee or green tea, but a glance at the air values. They show how many micrograms of fine dust particles are currently in one cubic meter of air – and they determine the day: Is my car banned from driving? Can the child really go out to the playground? Or should I better switch up the air filter immediately? At values of 200-250, our kindergarten in Beijing restricted activities on the playground.
Yesterday, Monday, no one in Beijing needed to open their air app, a glance out the window was enough to see – or not see – how bad the air levels were. 1960 µg/m³ was what the Swiss IQAir app said. The reason was a sandstorm that swept over Beijing. This “is what an ecological crisis looks like”, tweeted Li Shuo of Greenpeace China. However, you can see for yourself in today’s Dessert. And for health classification: According to the World Health Organization WHO, values above 25 µg/m³ are harmful to health.
Yet China is certainly focusing on environmental protection. Gregor Koppenburg and Jörn Petring analyze how much Beijing wants to invest in hydropower in the future and therefore build the largest dam in the world. It is to surpass the famous Three Gorges Dam by a factor of three! Yet, the project is meeting sharp criticism, especially in India.
Felix Lee is also critical of the working conditions for foreign journalists in China. Being followed, spied on, and intimidated – all this has become commonplace. The situation is worse than it has been for decades. He sees a clear change in behavior on the part of the Beijing leadership.
Meanwhile, Thomas de Maizière is calling for a change in Nato’s behavior. The strategic concept is outdated. China is not mentioned at all, the former defense minister criticizes. Yet the threats are obvious: terrorism, cyber-attacks, and China’s claim to leadership in the world.
De Maizière: Beijing is on a confrontation course
Former German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière is urging NATO to react quickly in the face of a strengthening China. “An inventory of the areas in which China has already created facts that affect NATO in terms of security policy is overdue,” de Maizière said in an interview with China.Table. The CDU politician criticized the lack of an overview: Currently, there is no strategic exchange between NATO members about which infrastructure or companies of security importance China has purchased in individual states. Value chains and other possible dependencies also need to be looked at closely and exchanged and debated among NATO members, the former minister said.
Together with US diplomat Wess Mitchell, De Maizière chairs the NATO Reflection Group 2030, which is intended to make the defense alliance fit for the next ten years. NATO’s aim is to strengthen the unity and political role of the alliance and coordination between the allies. The Reflection Group presented a report with strategy recommendations at the end of last year.
‘Concrete steps are very urgent’
De Maizière stresses that no time should be lost in taking concrete steps with regard to China: “This is very urgent, it must start immediately. China is creating its own facts. China is saying: ‘I want a global leadership role in the world’. In the past, that was said somewhat quietly, but now it’s being said openly. And not in terms of the Indo-Pacific, but in terms of the world.” NATO has had a “discussion avoidance policy over the past decade when there was a problem with China” to avoid tensions, de Maizière criticized. “This is wrong. NATO must learn how to discuss contentiously again.”