The Grandview Institution recently organized the opening session of a research project “Challenges and Policy Suggestions of Sino-German Relations – China’s ‘Global Security Initiative’ and Germany’s ‘Zeitenwende’”and invited Cui Hongjian, Director of European Institute for China Institute of International Studies; Wang Jianbin, Professor from Beijing Foreign Studies University; Wang Shuo, Professor from Beijing Foreign Studies University; Wang Qing, former correspondent of Xinhua News Agency in Berlin; Zhao Chen, Senior Researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Zhang Danhong, former Deputy Director of the Chinese Department of Deutsche Welle; and Zhang Lei from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to participate in the discussion.
The meeting discussed the relevant background and the concept of the “Zeitenwende” proposed by German Chancellor Scholz in a government statement and the “Global Security Initiative” proposed by Chinese leaders, as well as the impact of these two concepts on the international and regional order.
On February 27, 2022, German Chancellor Schulz pointed out in the government statement of the Bundestag that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was a “Turning Point of the Era.” This expression not only refers to the fields of security, defense, and energy policy, but also a corresponding major shift in German diplomacy, and geopolitical factors have further strengthened. The Social Democrats and the Greens are hardening their stance on foreign and security policy. At the same time, Europe as an entity is beginning to try to become a major player in geopolitics.
At the same time, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the “Global Security Initiative” at the Boao Forum for Asia, which was held in April, opposing unilateralism, not engaging in group politics and confrontation between camps, and insisting on peaceful resolving disagreements and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation. The initiative appeals to adhering to the overall maintenance of security in traditional and non-traditional areas and jointly responding to regional disputes and global issues such as terrorism, climate change, network security, and bio-security.
The introduction of the concepts of “Global Security Initiative” and “Zeitenwende” shows that China and Germany are thinking about the changing trend of the international order at the same stage, and trying to propose their own solutions. These concepts may make an important influence on the two countries and the entire world.
The research project was initiated by the Grandview Institution and funded by the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation. It is to understand the concept and actions of China’s “Global Security Initiative” and Germany’s “Zeitenwende” from a different angle, so as to find consensus and develop Sino-German relations in the new era.