Chancellor Scholz criticizes trip to China – WSWS | CarTailz

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, accompanied by a large business delegation, visited Beijing on Friday, where he met President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

It was the first trip to China by a G7 leader since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic three years ago and since Xi cemented his power at the party convention in October. It was met with fierce criticism both internationally and in Germany. The chancellor was also attacked from within the ranks of his own traffic light coalition, above all from the Greens.

Scholz is welcomed in the Great Hall of the People by China’s President Xi Jinping. [Photo by Bundesregierung/Imo]

For Scholz’s predecessor, Angela Merkel, such trips were routine. During her 16-year term in office, the Chancellor visited China a total of twelve times, Germany and China held joint intergovernmental conferences, and high-ranking Chinese representatives came to Germany regularly. In 2014, Xi Jinping personally traveled to Duisburg to commission a regular freight train connection between China and Germany as part of the New Silk Road Initiative.

But China has now become a target for the US and its European allies. The US is increasing economic and military pressure on the nuclear power and preparing for war. The Biden administration’s National Security Strategy describes the 2020s as the “decisive decade” in which the US will “win” the conflict with Russia and China. The European Union also describes China as a “strategic rival”.

The war against Russia in Ukraine, which NATO is systematically escalating and intends to continue until Russia’s military defeat, serves not least to deprive China of a potential ally. China’s non-military support for Russia in the Ukraine conflict has sparked outrage in Washington and European capitals. The criticism of Scholz’ trip is related to this.

“Some allies are concerned that the trip plays into a long-standing divide-and-conquer argument by Beijing that Berlin should distance itself from the US,” he writes Wall Street Journal. The French daily newspaper Le Monde lamented: “While the US plans to economically decouple itself from China and the European Union seeks to distance itself from a regime whose development is worrying, Berlin still seems to be set up as ‘business as usual’.”

EU Commissioner for Industry and Internal Market Thierry Breton, a Frenchman, warned Scholz: “The time for naivety is over. We have to be on our guard.” The behavior of the individual EU members towards China must be coordinated and not decided alone, “as China apparently prefers”. French President Emmanuel Macron suggested flying to China with Scholz at a later date to demonstrate European unity, a suggestion Scholz ignored.

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