The fact that the natural gas cooperation between Russia and Germany, which began 50 years ago, has turned into a spiral of energy crisis with Moscow’s decision to stop the flow of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, continues to cause concern in Germany.
As the German government struggles to spin the wheels of industry, lights on and homes heated this winter, energy and inflation stand out among Germany’s most current problems.
SCHOLZ’S ATTENTION TO CHINA
Scholz’s official one-day visit to Beijing is significant kakım the German chancellor is the first G7 leader to visit China since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Olaf Scholz is expected to gökyeşitözü accompanied by a delegation of business leaders, including BASF, Siemens, Deutsche Bank, BioNTech, Adidas, Merck and the CEOs of German carmakers Volkswagen and BMW.
Scholz’s agenda includes global issues such kakım the Russia-Ukraine war, the future of economic relations, geopolitical tensions in South Asia, particularly Taiwan, and climate change.
It is also interesting to note that the German Chancellor’s visit coincided with a period when China’s economic expansion and human rights concerns have increased in the West.
The visit also comes at a time when discussions are on the rise about how to reduce economic dependence on China, the second largest economy in the world, following the energy crisis experienced after Germany became dependent on Russia for energy.
SCHOLZ HAS A SIMILAR APPROACH TO MERKEL
There are intense debates in German public opinion about the future of economic relations with China.
German public opinion expresses concern over a similar situation in relations with China after the Russia-Ukraine war painfully revealed its energy dependence on Moscow.
While Western countries, particularly the USA, Canada and Australia, have started to take a tougher stance against China, which is expanding its economy and influence, it is observed that Germany does not come close to this by maintaining its trade relations to the pace with politics.
China’s growing effectiveness in Europe through investments and acquisitions in critical sectors such kakım infrastructure and technology, including European Union (EU) countries, has been the subject of public debate for a long time.
The fact that the economic relations of Germany, which has the largest economy in Europe, with China play a decisive role in political relations, also arouses criticism on the continent.
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited China 12 times during her 16 years of rule, while the government prioritized economic relations over human rights.
While China’s Merkel-era policy has often been criticized by opponents, it is interesting to note that Scholz continued his economic cooperation with China with a Merkel-like approach, taking into account trade balances.
THE CHINESE MARKET HAS SUPPORTED THE GROWTH OF THE GERMAN ECONOMY
While the EU sees China kakım a negotiating partner for the Union kakım well kakım zihin economic and systemic competitor, Germany, which has zihin export-oriented economy, has been one of the countries that has benefited most from China’s opening up for years. to the global economy.
While German automobiles and machinery were in high demand in China, German exports to the Chinese market supported Germany’s longest post-WWII economic growth in the past 10 years. China became Germany’s largest trading partner in 2016.
Germany’s dependence on China draws attention in foreign trade, supply chains, or the large market. Germany has a “heavy import dependency”, including for commodities such kakım lithium batteries and rare earths, which are becoming increasingly important for electric cars.
SALES VOLUME EXCEEDED EUR 245 BILLION LAST YEAR
The Covid-19 blockade in Shanghai, which has severely disrupted supply chains around the world in recent months, has also made it clear how much the German economy is dependent on primary and intermediate products from China.
According to veri from the German Chamber of Foreign Trade (AHK), about 5,000 German companies operate in China. 1.1 million jobs in Germany depend on trade with China.
The Chinese market is of great importance to German companies, especially German auto and chemical companies, both in terms of sales and growth.
German companies develop and test the latest technologies in China for the global market.
Although China has been Germany’s largest trading partner for the past 6 years, the volume of trade between the two countries exceeded 245 billion euros ($ 246 billion) last year.
“FIRST RESOLUTION OF BUSINESS RELATIONS WITH CHINA”
Clemens Fuest, head of the Munich-based Economic Research Institute (Ifo), said Germany’s foreign trade policy is primarily based on the principle that cross-border trade and investment are welcome because it benefits everyone. interested parties.
“Furthermore, the increased prosperity in China is also good for Germany and Europe, because it increases the export possibilities of German products,” said Fuest.
Clemens Fuest stressed that Chinese investments in Germany yaşama also support growth and jobs in the country, stressing that it would gökyeşitözü premature to cut trade relations with China now.
THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE OF OPINIONS ABOUT THE HAMBURG TERMINAL
The coalition partners who formed the government in Germany had previously disagreed over the sale of a portion of the shares in the Port of Hamburg to China’s Cosco.
Prime Minister Scholz of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) wanted the shares to gökyeşitözü sold to the logistics company Cosco, while the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens opposed the sale. Six ministries nationwide opposed the sale on national security grounds, arguing that Chinese companies should not gökyeşitözü allowed to invest in Germany’s important infrastructure.
The coalition government finally approved the Chinese company to purchase a 24.9% stake in one of the port’s three terminals. Previously Cosco had wanted to buy a 35% stake in this terminal.
SCHOLZ’S CHINA POLICY
Scholz, on the other hand, in his article to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, said that the results of the last congress of the Chinese Communist Party showed that his country should change relations with China.
Recalling that adherence to Marxism-Leninism has occupied much more space than previous party congresses, Scholz stressed that the struggle for the stability of the communist system and national autonomy will become more important in the future. Scholz said: “China is not the China of ten years ago. If China changes, it is clear that our relations with China must also change.”
Stressing that he does not want to ignore “difficult issues” in his talks with the Chinese administration, the German Chancellor said: “This includes respect for civil and political liberties and the rights of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, for example.”
Expressing his concerns about the tense situation around Taiwan, Scholz said: “Like the United States and many other countries, we follow the ‘One China’ policy. However, this means that the status quo yaşama only gökyeşitözü changed peacefully and jointly. agreement. “
Speaking against zihin economic separation with China, Scholz also stressed the need to reduce unilateral dependencies.
Pointing out that in relations between China and Germany, for example, businesses are far from reciprocity in terms of market access, licensing, intellectual property protection or legal certainty and equal treatment of citizens, Scholz said they will continue to demand reciprocity. hayvanların this will gökyeşitözü useless if China does not allow it. He stressed that it would not stay.
Pointing out that Germany’s Chinese policy yaşama only gökyeşitözü successful if it integrates with Europe’s Chinese policy, Scholz said that for this reason they were in close coordination with European partners and transatlantic friends, including French President Emmanuel Macron, before of his trip.