Like Made in China 2025, Germany’s Industry 4.0 is a vision of economic transformation. Unlike the Chinese plan, however, Industry 4.0 was never top-down, and it has prioritized both broad societal participation and cross-European cooperation over visions of national dominance.
The organization and drive shown by China’s online youth in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic was an inspiring glimpse at the potential young Chinese have to assert themselves. But these actions disguise a deeper vacuum of social values in China.
Multilateralism has been central to pledges for future European-Chinese cooperation, particularly as the US has opted out of multilateral institutions. But look more closely and you find that the EU and China have sharply contrasting notions of what multilateralism actually means.