In May 2017, China’s President Xi Jinping announces a geostrategic master plan to realign his country. The official name: “One Belt, One Road”. The plan is gigantic: where centuries ago silk, tea or porcelain were traded along the ancient Silk Road, now 1000 billion dollars are being invested by Beijing in its trade routes to Europe and Africa. China is no longer the simple workbench for Western companies and the place for cheap labour. The Chinese economic boom has been going on for 40 years; China’s President Xi Jinping praised the success of the reform policies of the past in the Great Hall of the People on 18 December 2018. The reforms, introduced on December 18, 1978 by the then leader Deng Xiaoping, sparked decades of economic growth and made China the second largest economy in the world. More cars are sold in China than anywhere else in the world. It is the world’s largest market for mobile phones. Is it only a matter of time before the country of smiles overtakes the USA as the largest consumer market in the world? How would this power transition affect our markets and society?
In his documentary, Grimme and television prize winner Hubert Seipel examines the consequences of China’s global strategy for Germany and Europe. Is it about confrontation or cooperation?