And now China. The United States has for a long time issued very basic warnings, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken has just begun, and Olaf Scholz also says: We can not see the other way. What do we see? Raw capitalism as a communist grimace. This subject is there by force. Also in Germany. The great self-confidence in the case of Russia is far from enough. Do not tell anyone that world politics cannot become more complicated.
Now it’s about people and powers and the relationship with autocrats, tyrants in general. And here China is at the forefront. Also at the forefront of trade with Germany, which makes this matter so uncertain again. But evasion was yesterday.
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China: great power, superpower. Well over a billion people. Germany’s most important trading partner. Eight percent of all German exports go to the People’s Republic. More than 5,000 German companies are on the move in China, which secures one million jobs in this country. modernity, expensive bought; Prosperity acquired by looking the other way. If it reminds you of Russia, this addiction is wrong. it’s bigger
The publications refute all indulgences
China is both present and future everywhere, with battery cells for electric cars, computer chips, even in fast corona tests. The darker side, however, has become unmistakable. If you do not want to lose face, you can not deny it: the disturbing images of concentration camps for Uighurs – they are only a first glimpse. The publications refute all reassuring propaganda from the Chinese government.
No one is so fast in growth and large-scale projects, but probably no one is so tough, so systematic in the monitoring of its citizens – and in the repression. To this end, the authoritarian system arm itself militarily, and it can also argue that there is no urge to expand, aggressive behavior in its backyard speaks another language.
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The situation is serious. Liberal democracies are being challenged like never before. For now everyone knows: you can fall behind in the long run. Russia is a warning, China is potent. The megalomaniac aggressively and ruthlessly pursues its interests in power.
In this respect, all the demands are more than justified, namely that Germany needs a strategic reorientation of its policy here, especially in the light of its interrelationship. What are the German interests besides economic cooperation?
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The EU and NATO are – again – part of the answer. You have a claim to one of the largest economies in the world, to a leading power in Europe. Germany, together with itself and its partners, must clarify what is to be achieved politically and militarily in the long term. European defense, for example, is not an occupation, not a fiction – it is ultimately a necessity.
And what does that mean for relations with China? As Friedrich Merz said: Criticism is not a strategy. It should look like this, and everyone agrees with him, Robert Habeck, Annalena Baerbock, Olaf Scholz, Christian Lindner: separation. This is the need of the time.
Neither benefit from nor be involved in forced labor
Three points: Germany must also reduce its dependence on China in general. German companies must not be involved in forced labor or benefit from it. And German officials have to approach the Chinese about the human rights situation at every opportunity. Open, of course. “Velvet paw”, to pick up a Lindner word, comes no further.
The crucial question, however, was raised by Chancellor Scholz at the Davos World Economic Forum: How do we create an order in which very different centers of power work reliably together in the interest of all? Complicated, of course. But that is world politics. And we now know: Dodging was yesterday. also looking away.