Can environmental and climate protection succeed independently of China?

Within a few decades, the old Middle Kingdom has worked its way up from a destitute country in the third world to the second largest economic power. This was achieved with a historically unique mixture of political centralism and a liberal market economy. Now the paradoxical model for success is reaching its limits. On the one hand, the regime is tightening the reins internally, on the other hand, there is concern in the traditional industrialized countries that a rather obscure competitor is growing over their heads.

Under Donald Trump, the US began imposing tariffs on trade with China and embargoes on companies like Huawei. In addition, a so-called China initiative by the Ministry of Justice placed any scientific cooperation between Chinese and American persons under suspicion of espionage. This nonsense was only ended under Joe Biden, after the professional world had protested violently and several falsely accused researchers had to be acquitted.

Nonetheless, the previously respectable percentage of articles with mixed US-Chinese authorship has fallen significantly. In view of this, the British journal Nature warns in an editorial against jeopardizing scientific cooperation with China – not only in basic research, but also with regard to disease control, species extinction and climate change…

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