2021 has been a turbulent year for everything China related – and 2022 can be expected to be just as intense. Just weeks before the Beijing Winter Olympics, China is struggling to control a growing number of Covid-19 outbreaks. The Chinese economy appears to be running into serious headwinds at a time when the Communist Party needs stability more than ever. All of this in the lead up to the all-important 20th Party Congress in November where General Secretary Xi Jinping intends to indefinitely extend his rule and political agenda.
2022 will be a critical year for EU-China relations: China’s unprecedented economic pressure on Lithuania, following the opening of a Taiwanese Representative Office in Vilnius last November, is putting the EU’s China policy to the test. Coordination is more challenging than usual as Germany’s new government is still settling in and France is holding presidential elections. What’s more, prospects for transatlantic China policy could be impacted by the looming mid-term elections in the US.
To anticipate what 2022 might have in store for us, MERICS will once again host its annual China Forecast event on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 in collaboration with our media partner Handelsblatt. We will provide a platform for exchanges on the most important current trends in China and what they entail for European counterparts in 2022.