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In China, Germany’s foreign minister doesn’t hold back – and he’s still welcome

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Teathat sugar The government rolled out the red carpet for Annalena Barebock’s visit on 14 April. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang spent nearly six hours with his German counterpart, including a factory tour of a German company in his native city of Tianjin, a high-speed train ride from Tianjin to Beijing, lunch and a stay at a government guest house Press Conference Ms. Barebock also met with Chinese Vice President Han Zheng and Wang Yi, another senior foreign policy official.

The exchanges were always polite, even though Ms Bierbock set a strong tone for her visit in a statement made after leaving Berlin, when she spoke of the “scary scenario of a military escalation across the Taiwan Strait”. Through which 50% of global trade passes every day. She said that with her visit she wanted to underline the European view that a change in the status quo in the strait, let alone a military escalationwould be unacceptable.

His press conference with Mr. Qin continued like this. Following the customary niceties, the two showed why they are considered hawks in Sino-German relations in their respective countries. Ms. Barebock bluntly stated that Europe had become a world power 150 years ago through expansionism, aggression, and colonialism, and that the world was watching closely to see how far China would reach its stated goal of becoming a world power by 2049. Which Path to Take (100th Anniversary of China). Foundation of the People’s Republic). Its choice will determine the extent to which Europe can count on economic relations with China in the future. Economic security is at the heart of the much-anticipated and delayed strategy paper on China, on which Germany has been working for more than a year, with Ms. Bierbock’s foreign ministry penning it.

Mr. Qin, on his part, reiterated China’s position that Taiwan is a part of it. he accused current tense separatist forces around Taiwan. In response to Ms. Barebock’s expression of concern about the human rights violations of UighursA Muslim minority in the western region of Xinjiang, he spoke about “lies” that were being spread about Xinjiang. He said that Ms. Barebock could come to the area at any time to see for herself. He ventured that there were no uniform standards for human rights in the world, and warned that China did not need to be lectured by the West. (Ms. Barebock countered that United Nations human rights charter and United Nations The Convention on Human Rights defines universal human rights.)

Ms Barebock also asked why China is not using impact on russia To end the war in Ukraine. His counterpart did not respond but said China would not supply any weapons Either to Russia or to Ukraine. When it came to supplying dual-use products, their response was very vague.

Unusually for a foreign minister, Ms. Bierbock emphasized trade ties and “economic security” at almost every turn. Fresh off the plane in Tianjin she met Flander, a German mittelstand Firm that manufactures wind turbines. He also visited Vitsco, a German automotive supplier in the city, as well as the Volkswagen R&D Center in Beijing. Last year, China was again Germany’s top trading partner for the seventh year in a row, with combined exports and imports worth more than €298bn ($320bn), up almost 21% from 2021. Germany depends on China for imports of rare earths and other essential minerals.

Ms Bierbock insisted she did not want to isolate Germany from China, but to “frustrate” the relationship by diversifying supply chains away from the country to avoid dependence on vital goods such as starting products for medicines. In their view the German and European markets and imports are important enough to give them a strong hand in dealing purely with the Chinese. Given the efforts made by the Chinese government to welcome him to Beijing, it seems he has a point. in spite of the awkwardness that may have arisen from Ms. Barebock’s noted interest in cleartext (explicit words), and Mr. Qin’s own strong response, with the Chinese foreign minister planning to travel to Berlin in June for more government consultations. He ended the press conference on a conciliatory note, “Danke,

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