The CHERN Policy Brief series highlights key recommendations relevant for Europe’s engagement with China based on the research carried out by CHERN members. The series is designed to quickly disseminate research results to policymakers and the public in a targeted, executive and easily readable manner. CHERN Policy Briefs reflect some of the best research currently being undertaken on the China-in-Europe phenomenon.


The question of whether to include Huawei technology in the rollout of Europe’s 5G infrastructure has increased awareness of the vulnerabilities that stem from technological dependence on China. The high level of market concentration in the Radio Accession Network (RAN) market has led to Open RAN being presented as a solution, as it disaggregates the components of RAN. However, while Open RAN is a promising technological concept, it does not solve the “China challenge” as it neither reduces reliance on China nor necessarily offers a higher degree of network security.


Data has emerged as a force of change in all facets of societal life, which spurred the debate on global data governance. This piece deals with the need for a better understanding of whether and how countries are using legal rules to handle data usage and the geopolitical implications of these rules.

The key policy take-aways are that (i) considering China’s game-changing data laws and regulation, the EU should avoid perpetuating a fragmented global data governance that contributes to data protection, interoperability problems, and international trade barriers by combining a top-down and bottom-up political approach and regulation; (ii) the EU needs to support small and medium-sized entrepreneurs’ (SME) growth because fragmented data regimes possess high risks to SMEs, especially with the rise and presence of large US’ and Chinese global tech champions; (iii) the establishment of a multidisciplinary multinational expert working group, independent from political and private interests, could provide an indication as to the present and future constrains upon regulatory cooperation.

Read the full policy brief here, together with the survey that informed it.


The ten-country survey, run in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden, shows a relatively homogeneous picture of low trust of China among the public in these countries.

The key policy take-aways are that (i) policy makers in the European Union (EU) and in its national Governments should listen more carefully to public opinion; (ii) perceptions of China are increasingly negative in the EU; (iii) European public opinion broadly supports considering China simultaneously as a partner, competitor and systemic rival, depending on the topic being covered, but demands further clarity and pro-activity on the role played by the EU in each of these three contexts; (iv) European public opinion encourages its governments and institutions to engage and co-operate further with China in areas such as climate change, pandemics and counterterrorism, but does not accept any softening in Europe’s insistence that China respect its values and human rights; and (v) differences on these matters among national public opinions are not significant, so a coherent EU policy on China is possible.

Read the full policy brief here, together with the survey that informed it.

Coordinators of CHERN’s policy and stakeholders interface:

Jeffrey Henderson

University of Bristol, United Kingdom; CHERN Vice Chair

Jeffrey Henderson is Professor Emeritus of International Development at the University of Bristol. Educated at universities in Britain and the United States, he has previously held appointments at the Universities of Manchester, Hong Kong and Birmingham and Visiting Professorships or Fellowships at the Universities of Lodz, Warwick, Glasgow, Leeds, Melbourne, New England, California at Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz and at Kwansei Gakuin University, Kobe and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research interests have been predominantly concerned with the dynamics and consequences of economic, social and political transformations in East Asia and Europe and, inter alia, he was one of the initiators of the global production networks approach to economic development. His books and cognate contributions include: Global Restructuring and Territorial Development ( with Manuel Castells); The Globalisation of High Technology Production ; States and Development in the Asian Pacific Rim (with Richard P. Appelbaum); Industrial Transformation in Eastern Europe in the Light of the East Asian Experience; East Asian Transformation; and Globalisation with Chinese Characteristics (special issue of Development and Change – with Richard P. Appelbaum and Suet Ying Ho).

Enrique Martínez Galán

Enrique Martínez-Galán

University of Lisbon, Portugal; Asian Development Bank, Philippines; Alternate member of CHERN’s Management Committee

Enrique Martínez Galán received a Ph.D. in economics from ISEG-Lisbon School of Economics and Management of the University of Lisbon in 2018. Currently member of the Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank. Previous professional experience in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Investment Bank, World Bank, European Commission, Portuguese Public Debt Agency and Portuguese Finance and Foreign Affairs Ministries. Strategic consultant for national governments in Africa, Asia and Europe. Integrated researcher at CEsA-Center for African and Development Studies of ISEG-Lisbon School of Economics and Management of the University of Lisbon. Lecturer, reviewer and author of several books and book chapters in development finance, international trade, foreign direct investment, higher education and science, and Chinese foreign strategy. Co-author of several recent scientific articles published in the following peer-reviewed journals: The World Economy, The Review of International Organizations, Applied Econometrics and International Development, Baltic Journal of European Studies, Portuguese Economic Journal, and Portuguese Review of Regional Studies.

Policy Briefs by CHERN members

Rühlig, T. (2020) Hong Kong – protesternas stad. Världspolitikens Dagsfragor. Stockholm: The Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

Rühlig, T. (2020) Technical standardization, China, and the future international order. Brussels: EU Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Rühlig, T., (2020) China, Europe and the new power competition over technical standards (forthcoming) UI Brief. Stockholm: The Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

Rühlig, T., Shao, O. (2020): China’s dwindling soft power in Sweden, in: Frans-paul van der Putten et al. (eds.): Chinese Soft Power in Europe (forthcoming) ETNC Annual Report. The Hague: European Think-tank Network on China.

Rühlig, T., (2020) How principled is the EU’s China policy? Note d’Ifri. Paris: Ifri.


We use cookies in accordance with our privacy policy and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.