Security – in Europe and Asia

China is playing a growing role in the geopolitical and multipolar reorganisation of the world and is therefore the focus of many debates and analyses.

During his three-day visit to China, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz focused primarily on economic issues. However, he also emphasised China’s position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council; a position that implies a special „responsibility for world peace“, while „China’s word (also) carries weight in Russia“.

Photo: Anna-Katharina Hornidge in front of a painting

Anna-Katharina Hornidge, ©IDOS

Yet, China’s international policy is not only important in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, but extends far beyond this. Against this backdrop, Prof. Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Director of IDOS, was invited by the Singapore Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces (MINDEF) to contribute to the city-state’s ‘Total Defence Convention’ on 25 April in the Straits of Malacca – the straits that historically connect ‚East‘ and ‚West‘. The event is part of MINDEF’s year-long Total Defence Campaign to mark the 40th anniversary of the Total Defence (TD) concept in Singapore.

Analogous to the understanding of „integrated security“ in Germany’s National Security Strategy, the Total Defence concept, which was first introduced in 1984, refers not only to military security risks, but also to the dangers that can arise from misinformation, supply chain disruptions or food security, among others. Under the theme ‘Together We Keep Singapore Strong’, the anniversary events aim to raise awareness of threats among the Singaporean people and to strengthen their preparedness and resilience to crises and disruptions

As part of her contribution to the panel discussion on ‘Readiness in Disruptions and Crises’, Anna-Katharina Hornidge, together with Prof Kenneth Mark, Ministry of Health Singapore, Sim Gim Guan, Singapore National Employers Federation, and Joanne Ng, Temasek Foundation, reflected on how resilience is thought of in countries of the European Union or the G20 and what lessons can be learnt from these examples for Singapore. The Singaporean side was also particularly interested in the categorisation of Germany’s National Security Strategy and its China Strategy against the backdrop of a geopolitical and multipolar reorganisation of our world. With reference to IDOS‘ research work on social cohesion, Anna-Katharina Hornidge emphasised the importance of social cohesion for dealing with crises and conflicts.

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