15 April 2022

ThinkChina Analysis: Danish-Chinese Knowledge Collaboration at a Critical Juncture

We experience more intense scrutiny of Chinese scientists working in Denmark and more critical attitudes towards the benefits of knowledge cooperation. At the same time, we note that the Chinese authorities impose increasingly stricter restrictions on academic freedom in China, both internally and in relation to international collaboration. This analysis gives a deeper insight into collaboration with Chinese scientists, researchers and universities. It explores the increase in bilateral collaboration and publications done in recent years and display threats regarding espionage, leakage of critical knowledge or proprietary rights which could undermine countries economically and security-wise in the future.


This analysis is written by Jørgen Delman, professor emeritus, China Studies, University of Copenhagen.

Key Takeaways

  • Knowledge collaboration with China in higher education and between businesses has come under increasing scrutiny; there is a need for reappraisal as roadblocks are being set up in relation to critical sectors and technologies.
  • Chinese knowledge actors are more aggressive in their procurement of foreign knowledge and technologies.
    China’s Communist Party and the Chinese science and higher education authorities have become more restrictive in relation to international knowledge cooperation and academic freedom than ever before during China’s reform process.
  • Despite the challenges, the world’s innovation and production value chains are so integrated that we must continue to engage actively, yet more critically in knowledge cooperation with China.

Keywords: China, Danish-Chinese knowledge collaboration.

Download and read here.