Experts & Staff

Janka Oertel

Director, Asia programme
Senior Policy Fellow

Areas of expertise

Europe-China relations, US-China relations, Security in East Asia, Chinese Foreign and Security Policy, Geopolitical Dimension of Emerging Technologies


German, English, French (conversational), Chinese (fair)


Dr Janka Oertel is director of the Asia programme and a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Oertel previously worked as a senior fellow in the Asia programme at the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Berlin office, where she focused on transatlantic China policy including on emerging technologies, Chinese foreign policy, and security in east Asia. Prior to joining the GMF, she served as a programme director at Körber Foundation’s Berlin office. She was also a visiting fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP Berlin) and worked at United Nations Headquarters, New York, as a Carlo-Schmid fellow. She has published widely on topics related to EU-China relations, US-China relations, security in the Asia-Pacific region, Chinese foreign policy, 5G and emerging technologies, as well as climate cooperation.

She has testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the German Bundestag, and is frequently quoted in leading media outlets such as the Financial Times, the New York Times, The Economist, Süddeutsche Zeitung, El Confidencial, Berlingske, and many more. Her new book “Ende der China-Illusion. Wie wir mit Pekings Machtanspruch umgehen müssen” was published in August 2023 with Piper in Germany.

Oertel holds a PhD from the University of Jena. Her dissertation focused on Chinese policies within the United Nations.

China, Europe, and covid-19 headwinds

China’s attempts to divide Europeans during the crisis, along with its fierce and openly hostile rhetoric targeting the capacity of Western democracy to effectively respond to the health emergency, have served as a wake-up call

Serbia’s coronavirus diplomacy unmasked

The Serbian president has exploited the EU’s internal divisions to insult the bloc and legitimise his policies, as well as his courtship of authoritarian partners.  



Security recall: The risk of Chinese electric vehicles in Europe

The security challenge posed by Chinese electric vehicles is in many ways greater – and trickier to solve – than that of 5G networks. With such cars entering the European market at growing speed, policymakers need to move swiftly

The end of Germany’s China illusion

The German government has shed most of its illusions about the future political and economic relationship with China. How it navigates the implementation of its new approach will have significant implications for the EU and other member states

Rogue NATO: The new face of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

The SCO is often seen as the anti-NATO, but Putin will struggle to convince the other members – especially the Central Asian states – that his war is more important than Chinese investment

Russia’s escalation in Ukraine: Views from Asia

Asia’s three largest powers all have a stake in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. China hopes to change the global order, Japan aims to resist this effort, and India is eager not to alienate Russia or the West

Germany’s new China policy

ECFR’s Janka Oertel and Andrew Small discuss how the new government in Berlin will adjust Germany’s approach to China



In the media