The Center for Strategy and Higher Leadership hosts “Short Notice Briefings” on topical issues for CEOs and chairpersons of major companies in Europe. In 2022, Short Notice Briefings were held with, among others, General Sir Richard Shirreff, author of the book “War with Russia,” Professor Igor Yurgens, former advisor to the Russian President, and NATO’s 16th Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral James G. Stavridis (photo). The discussion was chaired by Professor Klaus Schweinsberg.
At the invitation of the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, General Eberhard Zorn, CEOs and supervisory board members of well-known companies and high-ranking military officers met in Berlin on September 9, 2020 for an exchange of ideas on the topic of “Crisis Management and Corona”. The conversation was moderated by Professor Klaus Schweinsberg.
The German Institute for Defence and Security Studies (GIDS) and the General Staff Courses at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College (Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr) shed light on Africa’s prospects in a high-profile conference in Hamburg. Professor Klaus Schweinsberg chaired an expert panel consisting of military officers and representatives from NGOs, business and academia, in which the special role of China in Africa was discussed.
On November 5, 2019, the 26th Anniversary of the Deutsche Nationalstiftung was held under the theme “100 Years of the Weimar Constitution and the Future of Democracy.” Led by Prof. Dr. Heinrich August Winkler’s opening speech, which highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the Weimar Constitution, the event was followed by a critical discussion of the democratic structures that exist today. Prof. Dr. Schweinsberg took over the moderation of the event this year.
On 12 June 2019, Prof. Dr. Klaus Schweinsberg followed the invitation of the German-Chinese Business Association (DCW) in Dusseldorf and delivered this year’s China Speech. Among the numerous guests were also Mr. FENG Haiyang, Chinese Consul General, Professor Christiane Prange (Tongji University Shanghai), Andreas Schmitz, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of HSBC Germany, Harald Lux, Chairman of the Board of DCW, and Professor Dr. Ulrich Lehner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutschen Telekom.
In his speech, Klaus Schweinsberg drew some provocative comparisons between China and the West and discussed a “clash of systems”. Liberalism, democracy, and market economy are under pressure. For various reasons, China poses an enormous challenge, but first and foremost, it is a chance: a rising China forces Europe to finally learn her lessons.
The current development reflects changeover from European expansion to Chinese expansion. Prof. Dr. Schweinsberg observes certain parallels to Zheng He, an admiral of the Ming dynasty. He was the commander of the Chinese treasure fleet. With more than 317 ships and almost 30.000 crew, it was remarkably bigger than all the fleets of all the European powers combined. This made China the undisputed “ruler of the seas”, a trading nation, a force for order, and a hegemon. After the death of the Yongle emperor, China reoriented and focused on domestic affairs, and thus gave way to Europe’s rise on the world seas.
Now, 600 years later, China again left Europe behind in many respects, most obvious in the Road and Belt Initiative. China’s rise and Europe’s fall can be reflected in ten factors: intention, ambition, expansion, education, bureaucracy, rule, monitoring, surveillance, moral, and agility. It is important to note the fundamental difference between Confucian and Western rationalism, once described as an “adaptation to the world” vs. “domination over the world” by Max Weber. (Photos (c) DCW)