German Chancellor’s Visit to China Could Become a Trendsetter

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s decision to meet with President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Nov. 4 was taken despite the fierce opposition from his own coalition partner, the Greens, on the domestic level, as well as many international voices, including the Atlantic Council.

On the eve of his visit, Scholz himself penned an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung stressing his intention to “improve relations” with China, rather than more escalation, and to work with the Chinese on solutions to numerous global challenges (hunger, climate change, crisis hot spots), and on developing bilateral economic cooperation. “We don’t want to decouple” from China, he stated.

Xi Jinping welcomed the visit, according to a report on China Central Television, telling the German leader he was confident that the visit “will strengthen mutual understanding and trust of the two countries, deepen practical cooperation in different areas, and outline plans for the further development of China-Germany relations.” Although the global situation “is complex and volatile”, he noted that “as influential powers, China and Germany must work together in an unstable environment and chaos to make a greater contribution to world peace and development”. He also noted that this year is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In addition to the topics mentioned, Chancellor Scholz urged Xi to use China’s role in the Permanent Five of the UN Security Council as well as Beijing’s communication channels to Moscow to help de-escalate global tensions over the Ukraine issue, including the danger of escalation into a nuclear conflict.

It is worth noting that the divergence of views between China and the West, for example on “human rights”, was addressed by Scholz in his meeting with Prime Minister Li Keqiang, focusing the discussion with Xi on the more constructive topics of cooperation and relations.

Interviewed by CCTV as well as CGTN on the visit, Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche called it a “trendsetter” for other leaders in the West, particularly in Europe, meaning that they should take this visit as a model and enter into constructive relationships with the Chinese. She also stressed on several occasions that decoupling from China, as promoted by many in Germany, including Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, both of the Green Party, would mean the deindustrialization of Germany.

As for the CEOs of the dozen major German industries who accompanied Olaf Scholz to China, projects for investments and joint ventures in the range of about €20 billion were announced or confirmed, the largest of which is the project of BASF for a new production site in Guangdong in the range of 10 billion. It was confirmed that BMW would take over 75% of the shares in its joint venture with Brilliance Automotives, a decision already taken in February, and also that Volkswagen would undertake four new investment projects .

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