Good evening. Despite Western characterizations and fears, China’s social credit system has turned out more dysfunctional than dystopian. Our cover story this week gives a sorely needed update on the status of China’s grand experiment and what to expect from the post-social credit era. Elsewhere, we have infographics about America’s quest for critical minerals; an interview with Janka Oertel on the end of the China illusion; a reported piece on the chilly state of foreign law firms in China; and an op-ed about Italy’s Chinese trial by fire. If you’re not already a paid subscriber to The Wire, please sign up here.
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Two decades after the social credit system was conceived, China is hardly any closer to creating an honest society or one where, as the government motto puts it, “the untrustworthy are unable to move a single step.” And yet, ironically, with the system now fizzling out, the post-social credit era might finally deliver what social credit’s originators set out to do: improve market regulation and corporate governance. Rachel Cheung reports.
Together with its allies, the U.S. is on a quest to break China’s stranglehold on the critical minerals needed for new technologies. This week, our infographics by Aaron Mc Nicholas look at the U.S. government’s efforts to modernize its maps of critical minerals, how AI technologies are transforming the job of the nation’s geologists, and what this could mean for America’s future energy independence.
Janka Oertel is one of Europe’s leading commentators on relations with China. She is a senior policy fellow and director of the Asia program at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Her recent book, whose title in English is The End of the China Illusion, calls for a rethink on both Germany and Europe’s approach to relations with the world’s second-largest economy. In this week’s Q&A with Andrew Peaple, she talks about how Europe’s mindset towards China needs to change, why Beijing’s support for Russia over Ukraine is a watershed moment, and the EU’s looming battle over electric vehicles.
Illustration by Kate Copeland
As Eliot Chen reports, a dealmaking slowdown is making it harder for international firms to justify their presence in a once vital market.
The Italian leader has shifted her country’s approach to China, but the destination is not yet clear, argues Duncan Bartlett in this week’s op-ed.
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