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Germany focused on interests in China

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Germany is too focused on its interests in China to let any other nation's concerns impede them. China is Germany's biggest trading partner. Germany-China trade stood at €212 billion in 2020. More than 5,000 German companies operate in China.

The United States and the Group-7 may apparently be upset over China's increasingly repressive stance in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang. They may be so over China's assertive policies in the East and South China Seas, and its coercive postures on Taiwan. But Germany hardly cares for all this.

Germany focused on interests in China

Observers say Germany is too focused on its interests in China to let any other nation's or group's concerns impede them. The other day, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz happened to be the first G-7 leader to visit Beijing since COVID, and meet Chinese strongman Xi Jinping. He was also the first European leader to be in China since the re-coronation of Xi as the General Secretary of the all-powerful Communist Party in China and President of the communist country. The Chancellor took, along with him, 12 leading German business leaders to visit Beijing.

Scholz's China challengesScholz's China challenges

Chancellor Scholz is for the One-China policy. He suggests that any change in the status of China, vis-a-vis Taiwan, must be peaceful and through a mutual agreement between the two countries. He seems to think that China should not be isolated in the contemporary international system. Chinese President Xi may be helpful in resolving the world's outstanding issues today. Xi can also be made use of in dealing with the threat Russia poses to the modern world.

Chancellor Scholz is under pressure from some of his junior political parties in the current coalition government to adopt a more muscular stance towards the Chinese. For instance, German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who is from the Green Party, is for a new trade policy with China to reduce dependence on Chinese raw materials, batteries and semiconductors. But Chancellor Scholz has his own way.

According to a study, China is Germany's biggest trading partner. Germany-China trade stood at €212 billion in 2020. More than 5,000 German companies operate in China. Pertinently, economic relations between Germany and China have been strong since long. In 1985, Volkswagen became the first Western car maker to open a plant in Shanghai.

During Angela Merkel's 16 years as the Chancellor of Germany, she visited China 12 times. In 2014, during a visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping to Berlin, Merkel lifted bilateral ties to the level of a 'comprehensive strategic partnership'.

Germany at odds on Chinese investorsGermany at odds on Chinese investors

Today German firms are pouring more of their capital into China. Recently Volkswagen has announced its software unit Cariad will invest €2.4 billion in a joint venture with Chinese AI chipmaker Horizon Robotics.

(Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. He is also Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, New York)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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