CHINA: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday addressed national security concerns, touting the urgent need for greater bilateral cooperation between China and Germany during “times of change and turmoil” in a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Scholz is reportedly the first G7 leader to visit China ever since the pandemic began.
Scholz is on a one-day visit to the country to test the nature of relations between China and the West after years of surging tensions, according to analysts. He is also set to address several pertinent issues threatening the stability of the world at this time, including Russia’s stance on Ukraine, climate change, and economic ties.
The two world leaders met face-to-face in the Great Hall of the People in the heart of the capital city of Beijing, where Xi said that large nations of influence like China and Germany should join hands in creating a sustainable relationship to combat “times of change and turmoil” for the sake of world peace, according to state media outlet CCTV.
“At present, the international situation is complex and volatile,” Xi was quoted as saying.
“As large and influential countries, in times of change and turmoil, China and Germany should work together all the more to make more contributions to world peace and development.”
Meanwhile, Scholz acknowledged that it was necessary for two influential leaders to conduct such a joint meeting amid mounting political tensions across the globe, highlighting that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the balance of world order, as per a Reuters reporter accompanying Scholz’s delegation.
Moreover, other issues were deliberated upon in the meeting, including Europe-China ties, the global fight against climate change and world hunger, economic bilateral relations, as well as topics on which both countries had conflicting opinions.
Scholz’s trip to China is a clever political strategy to reinforce strong and stable relations between China and the West.
His delegation is also scheduled to meet outgoing Premier Li Keqiang and has pledged to raise concerns about human rights abuse, the Taiwan fiasco, and the enormous challenges faced by German companies in accessing the Chinese market.
Germany is reportedly the main money-maker for the EU, with the strongest economy in the Union, extracting huge gains from industries like shipbuilding and electric vehicles, which are equally giant industries in China.
Consequently, Scholz needs to maintain a good relationship with Xi to prevent any deterrence in economic activities.
Wang Yiwei, Jean Monnet Chair Professor and director of the Centre for European Studies at Renmin University, said: “Merkel was also quite ideological (towards China) in the beginning but then she changed her tune.” Scholz has changed his tune even faster, but he does not have as solid a domestic political standing as Merkel.
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