"Do we want to wait until a German scientist is arrested in China?"

Andreas Fulda Discussion

DER SPIEGEL reported on 26 November 2022 that Germany's China policy is causing tensions between the Chancellory and Foreign Office.

Who will define the contours of the traffic light coalition's approach to autocratic China? Is the new China strategy—expected to be finalised by Spring 2023—more likely to reflect Chancellor Scholz' business-friendly approach or Foreign Minister Baerbock's value-based vision?

Maik Baumgärtner and Ann-Katrin Müller (DER SPIEGEL) speak with Dr Alicia Hennig (TU Dresden) and Dr Andreas Fulda (University of Nottingham) about German-Chinese academic cooperation and their advice for the German government's forthcoming China strategy.

In this SPIEGEL interview we speak about censorship and self-censorship in China studies, challenges in Sino-German science collaboration, transnational repression and our recommendations for Germany's new China strategy.

DER SPIEGEL also made a 7-page paper public, which is the result of several rounds of coordination between interested, critical China experts and practitioners from academia, politics and business.

This paper with our recommendations was shared with the German Foreign Office (AA), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) in July 2022.

The guiding questions of the document are: Where are the biggest problems in dealing with China, in China research, as well as in cooperation with Chinese scientific actors? What framework conditions and instruments are needed to respond to the challenges that China challenges that China poses to us?

The German-language interview is available here:


Please find below a link to a slightly polished DeepL translation of the SPIEGEL interview, which was published on 17 January 2023. It also includes the 7-page paper with the recommendations for the China strategy of the German government.


It is our hope that this SPIEGEL interview as well as our recommendations will contribute to a better informed German China debate and a more focused China strategy of the German coalition government.

Dr Andreas Fulda

17 January 2023

Nottingham, UK