Freedom, justice and solidarity are the basic principles underlying the work of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). The KAS is a political foundation, closely associated with the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). As co-founder of the CDU and the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) united Christian-social, conservative and liberal traditions. His name is synonymous with the democratic reconstruction of Germany, the firm alignment of foreign policy with the trans-Atlantic community of values, the vision of a unified Europe and an orientation towards the social market economy. His intellectual heritage continues to serve both as our aim as well as our obligation today.
In our European and international cooperation efforts we work for people to be able to live self-determined lives in freedom and dignity. We make a contribution underpinned by values to helping Germany meet its growing responsibilities throughout the world.
We encourage people to lend a hand in shaping the future along these lines. With more than 70 offices abroad and projects in over 120 countries, we make a unique contribution to the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and a social market economy. To foster peace and freedom we encourage a continuous dialog at the national and international levels as well as the exchange between cultures and religions.
Human beings in their distinctive dignity and with their rights and responsibilities are at the heart of our work. We are guided by the conviction that human beings are the starting point in the effort to bring about social justice and democratic freedom while promoting sustainable economic activity. By bringing people together who embrace their responsibilities in society, we develop active networks in the political and economic spheres as well as in society itself. The guidance we provide on the basis of our political know-how and knowledge helps to shape the globalization process along more socially equitable, ecologically sustainable and economically efficient lines.
We cooperate with governmental institutions, political parties, civil society organizations and handpicked elites, building strong partnerships along the way. In particular we seek to intensify political cooperation in the area of development cooperation at the national and international levels on the foundations of our objectives and values. Together with our partners we make a contribution to the creation of an international order that enables every country to develop in freedom and under its own responsibility.
It is the fundamental aim of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung's Regional Programme for China to support the Chinese process of reform, focussing particularly on the transformation of the economy and on reforms related to the rule of law. In addition, the Foundation plans to assist China in its ongoing integration in the network of international relations. Specifically, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung plans to contribute towards
- assisting China in its efforts to establish the rule of law by supporting related reforms in a variety of legal areas on an ongoing basis;
- supporting the process of social transformation and the evolution of a civil society;
- transforming the current economic system into a market economy with social checks and balances;
- integrating China into the global economy;
- reducing inner-Chinese regional disparities ;
- intensifying the dialogue between Germany and/or Europe and China; and
promoting the development of the media and public transparency.
Drawing on its own problem-solving capabilities, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has geared its project work to a variety of areas in which activities and events are being conducted and organised in co-operation with partner organisations. The education, research, and consultation measures focus on the following areas of material interest:
Working Areas in China
In this case, the Regional Programme has been designed to assist in clarifying the principles of the rule of law and to support the functionality of China's institutions in practice. Since 1997, activities have focused on administrative law, the laws governing ownership, and the reform of jurisdiction. In the future, the focus will be on anti-cartel legislation as well as on the relation between constitutionalism and globalisation. The Foundation's dialogue on the rule of law forms a supplementary element in the general dialogue on these issues between the Federal Republic of Germany and the People's Republic of China that was officially begun in 2000.
Since the beginning of China's open-door policy, the People's Republic has undergone a process of profound social change. To underpin this process, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has instituted a dialogue on value concepts and the socio-political functions of political parties. At the same time, this area includes activities to embed the principles of democracy at the lower administrative levels (e.g. in the elections of village chiefs).
Economic and Social Reforms
Further economic and social reforms have become necessary because of the multitude of unresolved structural deficits in the sectors of government-operated business, banking, and financial enterprises as well as because of the growing tide of migration. Against this background, the KAS seeks to lend its support to the process of reform towards establishing a market economy with social checks and balances. At the heart of the concept is a debate about the implementation of an active labour-market policy and the construction of a sound social-security system. At the same time, the Foundation plans to advise and support China in the process of adaptation that became necessary after the country joined the WTO in December 2001.
As early as 1992, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung established the Chinese-German Management Institute (CGMI) in co-operation with the Northwest University in Xi'an (Shaanxi province). Measures implemented there mainly aim at promoting small and medium-sized enterprises and propagating management knowledge. Another important partner organisation co-operating with the Foundation in this area is the Shaanxi Women's Federation which is mostly involved in projects designed to promote the role of women and reduce poverty. Poverty alleviation is implemented mainly through income-generating measures which, in turn, comprise a variety of training programmes.
Foreign and Security Policy
This dialogue programme was specifically designed to search for answers to crucial questions of current importance including the effects of globalisation, the management of regional conflicts, and the assessment of new, non-traditional security risks. The programme organizes conferences usually attended by high-ranking politicians from Germany/Europe as well as from China. As a side-line, the programme serves the purpose of training young experts in foreign and security policy.
In recent years, new media and means of communication have evolved and spread in China just as anywhere else. Thus, for instance, the internet has developed rapidly. In addition, the Chinese media industry in recent years has undergone profound changes as a result of commercialisation. In this field, the Foundation aims to enhance the scope of scientific analysis and to cultivate contacts with journalists and media owners so as to stimulate the exchange of knowledge on the international plane, the objective being to support China on its move towards joining the information society by providing the requisite experience-based knowledge.
The activities of the Regional Programme are mainly aimed at the scientific staff of political consultancy institutions (think tanks; government and university research institutes). In addition, these activities initiated by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung are targeted at decision-makers in politics (political parties, ministry and government-authority executives) as well as business and media managers.