Researching the Dragon – The EU Needs to Build up its Independent China Expertise

The People’s Republic of China, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is an unprecedented challenge to the European Union and to liberal democracy. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically underscored this fact. China is now in an open rivalry with the West, not only about which political and economic system has better responded to the pandemic, but also about which system will dominate the 21st century.

• In the EU, our knowledge about China is painfully insufficient. Expertise on China within the Union has further diminished with Brexit.

• The little China expertise we have is increasingly dependent on Chinese funding, and its guiding narratives are therefore shaped by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its front organisations.

• The EU should therefore create a budget line to finance China-related research and language training in the EU, within the 2021-2027 MFF budget for “External Instruments”.

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