The German flag and China: this is how it must continue

The “Chinese science investigationsUnder the guidance of CORRECTIV and follow the money It is the subject of political debate. Research revealed in mid-May that the Chinese military is deliberately drawing on knowledge from European universities. The focus here is on the latest German research, as we do with our German partners German waveAnd the Deutschland Funk And the Southgerman newspaper can prove.

When asked about the research, Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark Watzinger (FDP) pointed to the universities’ responsibility at the May 20 federal press conference: They want to make them aware of collaboration and “support them to go their own way.” However, the research clearly showed that the reference to the responsibility of universities is not enough.

In an international comparison with neighboring Denmark, for example, Germany lags far behind. There, the government recently announced a “paradigm shift” and provided new guidelines for universities – if necessary, they want to “move forward”.

Left-wing politician calls for ‘strong civil clauses’ in universities

Reinhard Butekofer (Greens), MEP, says: “Ignorance, indifference or naive idealism are not the right attitudes when it comes to the very relevant risks of scientific collaboration. [mit chinesischen Forschern] It is being exploited ‘to ‘promote the military-civilian integration and military strengthening’ of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Universities and politics are responsible for finding ‘answers to the abuse’ of scientific cooperation.

China’s offensive military policy is making some cooperation in research and security “impossible,” green foreign policy expert Jürgen Tritten and Kai Gering, education policy spokesman for the Green Party, write. joint statement on your website. They are calling for “red lines”.

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Nicole Gölke, Vice President of the Left Parliamentary Group. writes on twitter About our research: “It is frightening that German universities are acting naively as proxies of Orwell’s 1984 China Dream. Strong civic clauses would be the right answer—and discussion around a responsible research framework.” A ‘civil clause’ describes the self-obligation of scientific institutions to conduct research for exclusively civil purposes.

Union Group sees ‘concrete need for action’

“The research makes us very concerned, and we as a CDU/CSU parliamentary group see a concrete need for action,” says Thomas Jarzombek, a CDU education policy spokesperson. “It should not be the case that German universities conduct military or dual-use research in China.” According to Jarzombek, the current regulations “appear to be inadequate and should be adapted based on current findings”. This also includes regular checking and updating.

The union expects a “concrete agenda” from the Minister for Research, and she must “initiate discussions with relevant bodies such as the German Rectors’ Conference and the German Research Foundation. These guidelines are published for cooperation between German and foreign universities.

Mario Brandenburg, education policy spokesperson for the FDP parliamentary group, agrees with the Minister for Research. Research on collaborations with Chinese researchers on “dual-use” projects revealed that “in some places there is a clear need to improve current practice.” A “stronger consciousness” is needed. However, not every university has developed oversight mechanisms. “Therefore, there is a need for a broad discussion about how to support universities here more – whether that is through a centralized solution or a coordinated decentralization solution,” Brandenburg says.

Gotze Froming, spokesperson for the education policy of the AfD group in the Bundestag, described the research findings as “alarming”. The AfD group had already called on the federal government in the last legislative period to “end China’s influence on German scientific institutions”. Froming speculates that the government does not want to jeopardize “economically important relations” with China. “International research collaboration is important. However, academic freedom should not be used as a fig leaf to neglect national security interests.”

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A spokesman for the education policy of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag had not commented until this article was published.

The Danish government wants to organize scientific cooperation more closely

While Germany is still debating how to properly approach the topic, Denmark is going one step further: After the research was published, the government there introduced new and specific guidelines for scientific cooperation with Chinese institutions, among others. A committee commissioned by the Ministry of Research provided a committee for this purpose Three-step plan.

Among other things, a “common national approach and increased knowledge exchange between responsible authorities and the research environment in Denmark” are being pursued. Foreign researchers should do this According to Research Secretary Jesper Petersen For a comprehensive review by universities. If abuse is suspected, they also need to be prepared to “stop working together.”

This topic is also on the political agenda in the Netherlands: the results of the research are scheduled to be discussed in Parliament on Wednesday.

The German Federal Government is currently working on the “China Strategy”. It is unclear when this will be published and whether the topic of research cooperation with military institutions will be taken up, as is the case in China.

Chinese Science Investigation has shown that over the past 20 years, about 3,000 scientific papers have been produced between European researchers and colleagues in Chinese military institutions. The posts dealt with sensitive areas such as encryption and decryption technology, botnets, or tracking groups of people. In Germany, CORRECTIV has found around 300 such works with its partner media.

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