Episode 15: A European China Strategy

Jeffrey Rathke

Jeff Rathke

President of AGI

Jeffrey Rathke is the President of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

Prior to joining AICGS, Jeff was a senior fellow and deputy director of the Europe Program at CSIS, where his work focused on transatlantic relations and U.S. security and defense policy. Jeff joined CSIS in 2015 from the State Department, after a 24-year career as a Foreign Service Officer, dedicated primarily to U.S. relations with Europe. He was director of the State Department Press Office from 2014 to 2015, briefing the State Department press corps and managing the Department's engagement with U.S. print and electronic media. Jeff led the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that, he was deputy chief of staff to the NATO Secretary General in Brussels. He also served in Berlin as minister-counselor for political affairs (2006–2009), his second tour of duty in Germany. His Washington assignments have included deputy director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs and duty officer in the White House Situation Room and State Department Operations Center.

Mr. Rathke was a Weinberg Fellow at Princeton University (2003–2004), winning the Master’s in Public Policy Prize. He also served at U.S. Embassies in Dublin, Moscow, and Riga, which he helped open after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr. Rathke has been awarded national honors by Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as several State Department awards. He holds an M.P.P. degree from Princeton University and B.A. and B.S. degrees from Cornell University. He speaks German, Russian, and Latvian.



Reinhard Bütikofer

Member of the European Parliament

Reinhard Bütikofer is a Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA) . He is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Delegation for relations with the United States. He is also Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the People’s Republic of China.

Before being elected to the European Parliament in 2009, Mr. Bütikofer was the co-chair of the German Green Party Bündnis90 / Die Grünen (from 2002 until 2008). He was the party’s Secretary General from 1998 until 2002. Prior to that he served as the Chair of the Greens in the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. From 1988 until 1996 he served as a Member of the Baden-Württemberg State Parliament. His engagement with the German Greens began when he was elected as a member of the city council in Heidelberg in 1984.

In this episode of The Zeitgeist, AGI President Jeff Rathke talks with Reinhard Bütikofer, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the EP’s Delegation for Relations with the People’s Republic of China. They look at the impact of China on the international community, European responses to China’s evolution, and the possibility of U.S.-EU partnership on a China strategy. They also look at some of the specifics of current issues on the agenda regarding China, including the role of Huawei and 5G and broader human rights concerns.

Finally, the conversation turns to the future of the German Green Party, the durability of its success, and the possibility of the Greens becoming a new Volkspartei.


Jeff Rathke, President, AGI


Reinhard Bütikofer, Member of the European Parliament

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.