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Joergen Oerstroem Moeller

The global steering system has become unpredictable. This is bad news for China looking forward to reap benefits from the system it joined 35 years ago. The abdication of the United States and Britain as leaders, however, offers China an opportunity to shape a new system without breaking up the existing one – evolution and not revolution. It is happening at the same time as information and communication technology (ICT) together with social networks is introducing a new power game around the shaping of perceptions: from nation-state versus nation-state to the colossal data companies versus the state. Data companies have more insights into the behavior of persons and business life than the state and use it to influence and ultimately control behavioral patterns. Three of these companies are in China: Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. A number of indicators point to common interest between China and continental Europe. These include attitudes towards the data companies, maintaining an open global system, sustainability, and awareness of social external diseconomies. China’s initiatives like the Belt & Road Initiative, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership illustrate an embryonic entrance to frame a future global system without disrupting the existing one.