Dance with the dragon
China is being increasingly associated with the fire-breathing dragon, which in Western mythology was usually regarded as a monster that had to be destroyed. Such fire dragons also exist in Asia. But the East Asian dragon is an ambivalent creature with predominantly positive qualities: a symbol of fertility, of wealth, auspiciousness, goodness and intelligence – and of imperial power.
Similarly ambivalent is the brand name ‘Belt and Road’, which stands for world-wide infrastructure development, billion-dollar investments and integration into a “community with a shared future”. On one hand, it promises ‘New Silk Roads’, linking it to a historical, supposedly Golden Age of an equitable, flourishing interchange between China and Europe. On the other hand, it is being interpreted as a seductive web in which participating countries become entangled and dependent on Beijing’s power ambitions.
China’s global reach in all areas has long since progressed to the point where the dance with the dragon is in full swing. The music for it is currently being written by a wide variety of composers. One of the basic rules for this dance: don’t step too firmly on the dragon’s feet.
- New Scamble for AfricaAt the start of the new year, the foreign ministers of China and the USA went on a tour of Africa in quick succession. US government circles described it as a coincidence, although it is clear that the respective Chinese foreign minister is making his first foreign trip abroad every year for three decades, in line with the motto of ‘Dinner for One’. The travel activity highlights the fact that the new ‘Scramble for Africa’ is picking up speed.
- Newsletter 1/January 202424. January 2024 Contents: Flexible Loyalitäten und Allianzen +++ War about critical minerals? +++ Liebesgrüße von ‚Fat Man’ und ‚Little Boy’ +++ Weiterer Rückschlag für BRICS? +++ Ups and downs: Bid to De-Risk China’s Global Infrastructure Initiative +++ Belt&Road in Southeast Asia +++ Chinesische Konzerne in Indonesien +++ Readings: China-Africa Relations in 2024 +++ Southeast Asia’s Future: Averting a New Cold War +++ Which international Order? +++ Update Blogroll: China Global South Project +++ Quote: The Year of the Dragon
- War about critical minerals?For some commentators, the Russian attack on Ukraine is the “first lithium war”. After all, a side effect of the Russian invasion could be to frustrate Europe’s plans for a secure supply of strategic, critical raw materials, which Ukraine has in abundance. Such considerations show the potentially explosive power of competition for critical raw materials for ‘green capitalism’.
- Newsletter 10/November 2023Contents: Gastbeitrag: De-Globalisierung von oben? +++ Sri Lanka: Spiel über die Bande gegen China +++ Krieg um kritische Rohstoffe? +++ Unterrichtsmaterialien zu historischen und modernen Seidenstraßen +++ Ups and Downs: Beijing auf der Rutschbahn in Myanmar +++ Philippinen steigen aus BRI-Projekten aus +++ Lesehinweis: How the BRI Changed China +++ Blogroll Update: Belt and Road „gut erzählen“ +++ Der globale Fußabdruck von BRI +++ Quote: Whom to Trust?
- Newsletter 9/October 2023CONTENTS: Guest blog: Etikettenschwindel ‘Global Gateway’ +++ Lebenszeichen zum BRI-Jubiläum +++ Europäische Seidenstraße in Zentralasien +++ Global Gateway-Forum in Brüssel +++ Schuldenkrise: Streicheleinheiten vom IWF +++ Wer “Doppelnutzung” finden will, findet sie auch +++ Das „gefährlichste Schlupfloch“ in der regelbasierten Ordnung +++ Konnektivitäts-Initiativen +++ Lesehinweis: Sackgasse Polare Seidenstraße +++ Blog Roll Update +++ Quote: Who’s afraid of debt?
- The Ghost of the Global SouthThe multi-layered conflict between China and the USA and their relationship with Russia and Europe determine the current geopolitical discussions and antagonisms. Especially in the transatlantic discourse, the crucial role of the ‘Global South’ in this hegemonic realignment is often overlooked. However, the South’s role will determine whether the conflict will escalate into a new bipolar bloc confrontation or whether the adversaries will incorporate their hegemonic ambitions into a new, more equitable multipolar world order.