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China's Global Security Initiative and Germany's Zeitenwende


Today, the international landscape and the zeitgeist (spirit of the times) are undergoing momentous changes. Security issues, ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to the crisis in Ukraine, have never been more pronounced in the post-Cold War era. Apart from traditional geo-security challenges like the Ukraine crisis, economic globalization is also impacted by security and political issues. Whether it is the restructuring of global supply chains or the inflationary tide developed countries are experiencing, the mindset of confrontation and zero-sum games is the deeply-rooted reason behind them. The world is faced with the critical question of "whether the post-Cold War era dominated by peace and development has come to an end?" At this historical crossroads, Germany and China, two powers with the largest populations and the strongest economic and comprehensive strengths respectively in Europe and Asia, have successively put forward their foreign policy propositions, the former the "Zeitenwende" (which means "a turning point of the times" or "an epochal tectonic shift") in February 2022 and the latter the "Global Security Initiative (GSI)" in April 2022, to elucidate their basic views on current global security and to propose solutions to it, which is highly consequential to the world.

In this report, we intend to conduct a double comparison of these two concepts (each from the perspectives of China and Germany) and a contrast between themselves, with an aim to pin down their commonalities and differences and come up with relevant policy recommendations on the textual summary basis through extensive interviews and seminars. To this end, the project team of the Grandview Institution has conducted a number of face-to-face personal interviews with incumbent and retired officials from China's decision-making bodies, state media, think tanks, universities, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), the Xinhua News Agency, universities, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the German Embassy in China. All of them have sophisticated experience in foreign policy-making or research; The team also held four internal seminars with experts from policy-making bodies[1], think tanks[2], businesses[3] and the press[4]; and co-organized, along with FES dialogues between scholars from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Helmut-Schmidt-Universität, and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH).

China's GSI and Germany's Zeitenwende.pdf


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