Global China Conversations #17

Ideology First, Economy Second? What Challenges do European Companies Face in China?

26 Jan 2023


With Xi Jinping's rise to the top of the state, the ideology of the Communist Party has once again moved to the centre of the state and society. While the reform era was guided by pragmatic principles, decentralisation and opening, centralisation, and political and economic isolation now determine the course. Observers speak of a neo-Maoist turn in Chinese politics, with Xi Jinping and the Party at the centre of national rejuvenation and the Chinese Dream. This ideology-driven economic policy has caused uncertainty not only since the outbreak of the pandemic zero-provide strategy. Companies are increasingly forced to reduce and isolate their China activities.  

Against this background, we discuss the following questions at the beginning of the year: Are the relaxations of the zero-covid policy a first step out of isolation? What is the new party ideology? How is the Communist Party changing, and what role does loyalty play among party cadres? Will China once again become a reliable and predictable trading partner for German and European companies?


The event consists of different impulse lectures followed by a discussion.  

The Global China Conversation #17 will be held in German. 


Jörg Wuttke  

Jörg Wuttke is the Chief Representative of a major German Dax company in China. He is also President of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China - a post he previously held from 2007 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2017. Wuttke is a member of the advisory board of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin and has lived in Beijing for more than three decades.  

Carolin Kautz 

Dr. Kautz studied Sinology and Political Science in Göttingen and at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU). After practical experience at the Hessian Foundation for Peace and Conflict Research (HSFK) and the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), she began a research project on party discipline and corruption in China at the University of Göttingen, which she completed with a dissertation on party social identity and the importance of ideology for the Chinese Communist Party. As part of her dissertation, she completed a research stay at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include the Chinese Communist Party, ideology debates, and the legitimacy of political rule and its contestation. She is also interested in foreign and security policy and the domestic factors influencing it. 


Amelie Richter 

Amelie Richter is a journalist and sinologist, focusing on EU-China-relations in particular in her work for the China.Table. Before the China.Table, Richter was working for the German Press Agency in Australia, Mexico and Straßburg. She is currently based in Paris.