Not Against China, But For Democracy

China‘s development is intensifying the great power competition with the United States and driving the polarization of the international system. Now is the time for a sovereign Europe that speaks with a unified voice on the international stage.


In order to defend Western values and interests and to avoid one-sided dependencies in the context of these geopolitical realities, what is needed is a sovereign Europe that speaks with a unified voice on the international stage. Unfortunately, this is often prevented by the obstructionism of individual EU member states, such as when Hungary opposed a joint declaration on Hong Kong’s electoral reform. Therefore, the EU must become more capable of acting in foreign policy, for which it must implement qualified majority voting.

As it celebrates its 100th birthday, the CCP will pull out all the stops to parade the success of the Chinese development model. At the center of this narrative are the approximately 700 to 800 million people that in the span of decades China has lifted out of poverty, the country’s inevitable rise to being the world’s strongest economic power, the containment of the pandemic, and its purportedly selfless vaccine diplomacy. This narrative must be countered by evidence-based information, and the serious shortcoming of the Chinese system must be pointed out. Above all, Germany, along with the United States and other democracies, must deliver the better political answer. The competition in the international system will be decided on the basis of the quality of our democracy at home, our ability to innovate, and the social cohesion of our open society.

A close cooperation with other democracies, including with ones outside the transatlantic family, becomes even more important in times of systemic rivalry. Overall, Biden’s visit to Europe sent a strong message of the West’s unity to the world, and it advanced important future project such as a global infrastructure initiative as a democratic alternative to Beijing’s “New Silk Road.” The transatlantic community and its democratic partners are well positioned to succeed in the systemic competition, thanks to their enormous economic, military, and diplomatic capabilities. International solidarity in human rights and democracy as well as a credible commitment to international law are other trump cards in their hands.

Download the new perspective paper here.

Originally published in German at #TransatlantischeImpulse: https://transatlantische-impulse.de 

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