Maximilian Mayer
Maximilian Mayer
Maximilian Mayer is an assistant professor in international studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China.

US President Donald Trump’s provocative rhetoric raises questions about how far he is willing to go in his confrontation with China. While countries and businesses are reluctant to pick sides, the spectre of a US-China military conflict might force them to.

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A new system aimed at facilitating the membership of Balkan states will now require candidates to be evaluated on their ability to ‘tackle malign third-country influence’. This comes in the wake of EU warnings over the past year of China’s growing influence in Central and Eastern Europe.

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The US’ targeting of Huawei is rooted in long-standing fears that China might challenge the idea of civilisational superiority on which the West constructs itself. Focusing on Chinese surveillance effaces the threat posed by Western tech giants.

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Brussels has misread Beijing’s global aspirations – there is no grand plan behind Chinese acquisitions of European assets. But, as China becomes a stakeholder in Europe, the continent should adopt a pragmatic strategy to profit from this.

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Europe, led by Germany, grew complacent about military matters after the cold war and needs to wake up and devise a comprehensive plan to respond to the threats now presented by Russia, Turkey and conflict next door

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