China is increasingly seen as the central threat to the liberal Western world order. A growing sense that this shift is unstoppable creates a climate of discussion that overlooks important alternatives, writes Nadine Godehardt.
The U.S. and China have a mutual interest in containing the outbreak, but exchanges over the virus have not been without friction.
China hit a grim landmark earlier this week when the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak surpassed 1,000 with over 40,000 recorded cases of infection—and those numbers are rising every day. The outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, has rattled global markets and catalyzed concern over a widespread epidemic beyond China’s borders. The suffering has been immense, and people in China and those with family or friends there are frightened about what’s next. Meanwhile, there are shortages of masks and supplies and hospitals are overrun, with rising anxiety due to travel restrictions and quarantine policies.
Assessment of the relationship between the USA & Switzerland – ‘Sicherheit 2019’
This graphic provides an overview of Swiss respondent’s opinions to a survey on security, foreign policy and economic issues regarding relations between Switzerland and the US. To find out more, read the ‘Sicherheit 2019’ here. The ‘Sicherheit’ study is an annual survey conducted by the Center for Security Studies and the Military Academy at ETH Zurich. Since 1999, it has evaluated long-term trends and tendencies in public opinion on foreign, security and defense policy issues in Switzerland.
For the first time since 1957, Europe finds itself in a situation where three major powers—the United States, China and Russia—have an interest in weakening it. They may squeeze the European Union in very different ways, but they share an essential hostility to its governance model.
The European model, after all, is based on the principle of shared sovereignty among states in crucial areas such as market standards and trade. That liberal idea is antithetical to the American, Chinese and Russian view of sovereignty, which places the prerogative of states above global rules and norms of behaviour. Shared sovereignty is possible only among liberal states; unalloyed sovereignty is the preserve of populists and authoritarians.
A common refrain in Denmark is that China is too far away to be a threat to Danish economic, foreign and security policy interests. This is no longer the case. Danish policy-makers acknowledge that China’s rise as a global superpower presents Denmark with new challenges. However, transforming this strategic thinking into practice is no simple task.