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The way we deal with China must change – POLITICO


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BERLIN — Berlin must change the way it offers with China because the nation lurches again towards a extra brazenly “Marxist-Leninist” political trajectory, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote in an op-ed on Thursday.

In his article for POLITICO and the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Scholz defended his journey to China on Thursday however confused that German corporations would wish to take steps to cut back “dangerous dependencies” in industrial provide chains, notably when it comes to “cutting-edge applied sciences.” Scholz famous that President Xi Jinping was intentionally pursuing a political technique of creating worldwide corporations reliant on China.

“The final result of the Communist Party Congress that has simply ended is unambiguous: Avowals of Marxism-Leninism take up a much wider house than within the conclusions of earlier congresses … As China adjustments, the way that we deal with China must change, too,” Scholz wrote.

Germany has confronted withering criticism for pressuring Europe into a strategically disastrous dependence on Russian gas over current years, and Berlin is now having to hit again in opposition to ideas that it’s making precisely the identical errors by relying on China as a producing base and industrial companion.

While Scholz signaled a observe of warning over China, he was removed from suggesting that Germany was near a serious U-turn in its largely cozy relations with China. Indeed, he clearly echoed his predecessor Angela Merkel in insisting that the (unnamed however clearly recognized) United States mustn’t drag Germany into a brand new Cold War in opposition to Beijing.

“Germany of all international locations, which had such a painful expertise of division throughout the Cold War, has no real interest in seeing new blocs emerge on the earth,” he wrote. “What this implies with regard to China is that after all this nation with its 1.4 billion inhabitants and its financial energy will play a key function on the world stage sooner or later — because it has for lengthy durations all through historical past.”

In a thinly veiled criticism of Washington’s insurance policies, Scholz stated Beijing’s rise didn’t justify “the calls by some to isolate China.”

Crucially, he insisted that the purpose was to not “decouple” — or break manufacturing ties — from China. He added, nevertheless, that he was taking “critically” an assertion by President Xi that Beijing’s purpose was to “tighten international production chains’ dependence on China.”

Scholz is planning to fly to Beijing late on Thursday for a one-day journey to the Chinese capital on Friday, the place he would be the first Western chief to fulfill Xi since his reappointment, and the primary chief from the G7 group of main economies to go to China because the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The chancellor additionally sought to counter criticism that his trip undermines a joint European approach to China. According to French officers, President Emmanuel Macron had proposed that he and Scholz ought to go to Xi collectively to display unity and present that Beijing can’t divide European international locations by taking part in their financial pursuits off in opposition to one another — an initiative that the German chief rejected.

“German coverage on China can solely achieve success when it’s embedded in European coverage on China,” Scholz wrote. “In the run-up to my go to, we have due to this fact liaised intently with our European companions, together with President Macron, and in addition with our transatlantic pals.”

Chancellor Olaf Scholz echoed his predecessor Angela Merkel in insisting that the United States mustn’t drag Germany into a brand new Cold War in opposition to Beijing | Clemens Bilan-Pool/Getty Images

Scholz stated he needed Germany and the EU to cooperate with a rising China — together with on the essential problem of local weather change — moderately than attempting to field it out.

At the identical time, he warned Beijing that it mustn’t pursue insurance policies striving for “hegemonic Chinese dominance or perhaps a Sinocentric world order.”

Scholz additionally pushed China to cease its support for Russia’s war in opposition to Ukraine and to take a extra crucial place towards Moscow: “As a everlasting member of the [United Nations] Security Council, China bears a particular accountability,” he wrote. “Clear phrases addressed from Beijing to Moscow are essential — to make sure that the Charter of the United Nations and its rules are upheld.”

This article is a part of POLITICO Pro

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