This move has irked China which has out-rightly rejected Germany’s charges, urging later to view its ties with Beijing objectively, reported Voices Against Autocracy.
Moreover, at the 20th National Congress in China, the last few sensible leaders in CCP have been removed and Xi Jinping tightened his authoritarian rule and surrounded himself with only “yes men”, pushing Germany to re-calibrate its relations with China.
While efforts are on to prepare Germany’s first China strategy document next year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said that violence must be banned from international relations while commenting on the Taiwan question, reported Voices Against Autocracy.
The three-way coalition government that took office in December, is due to publish Germany’s first China strategy document next year. Out of three, the Greens and Free Democrats, are more hawkish than Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD), who want to avoid triggering a US-style Cold war with China.
His remarks on Taiwan have to be seen in the context of the fact that China is Germany’s most important trading partner. If Berlin takes a clear stand against Chinese efforts to retake Taiwan, this could risk serious conflict, above all in economic terms.
However, the German leadership has decided to reduce its trade dependence on China. Currently, it is dependent on Chinese raw materials, batteries and semiconductors, reported Voices Against Autocracy.
This could be one of the reasons why the Chancellor might approve the Chinese take-over of the German chip manufacturing firm Elmos. The semiconductor production of Dortmund-based Elmos is being taken over by Sweden’s Silex, a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s Sai Microelectronics.
The said approval is being granted despite strong advice against the same by the German intelligence agency and warnings from the EU, besides warning from six of his own federal ministries, including Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, reported Voices Against Autocracy.
Last month, Germany’s economy minister Robert Habeck stated that the government was working on a new trade policy with China to reduce dependence on China, promising “no more naivety” in trade dealings with Beijing.
Habeck said that China was a welcome trading partner, but Germany could not allow Beijing’s protectionism to distort competition and would not hold back criticism of human rights violations under threat of losing business. This was the first time the Minister has made clear that this tougher line was being translated into policy measures, reported Voices Against Autocracy.
The Green Party, which runs the ministry, has long advocated taking a harder line on China with Habeck announcing that Germany would adopt a tougher approach on trade.
Available reports from Berlin suggested that politicians and executives in Germany have broadly come to agree that the country needs to reduce its economic dependence on China, given their concerns about industrial espionage, unfair competition, or human rights violations – concerns that Beijing has strongly rejected as being unfounded, reported Voices Against Autocracy.
Besides taking measures economically, Germany has also raised its guard against China militarily. Germany sent a record 13 military aircraft to join Exercise Pitch Black 2022, a military drill involving the US, Australia and 15 other countries, which is seen as a collective effort led by Washington in order to form an anti-China frontline and to pressure China over the Taiwan question, reported Voices Against Autocracy.
Moreover, Germany is increasingly joining other Western allies in flexing more muscle in the Indo-Pacific region, citing so-called growing alarm over Beijing’s territorial ambitions.