Major Western leaders have been calling for “de-risking” from China, rather than “decoupling.” But what exactly de-risking means and how it differs from decoupling, remains unclear. It is ultimately firms, not governments, driving trade and investment relations. But firms cannot account for unidentified risks by themselves. National security risks are for governments to define. Complex supply chain externalities might entail risks to production that are also difficult for firms to account for. Furthermore, firms may bet that governments will rescue them if a worst-case scenario happens, effectively socializing risks. In the EU, Germany is particularly exposed to China risk in terms of security, macroeconomic, and political exposure.
The DGAP policy brief can be found here.
Text is discussed in Spiegel.