In a very analyzed meeting this Friday, with the visit of the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the Chinese President, Xi Jinpingcalled for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and warned of a possible nuclear conflict.
The German leader is in beijing for a one-day visit that has drawn criticism for the tacit support of China to Russia and persistent controversies over economic ties and human rights issues. This meeting comes after Xi further consolidated his authoritarian rule at a major congress of the communist party last month.
the visit of scholz reflects the importance of the commercial ties of Germany with China, the second largest economy in the world, particularly in the automotive and manufacturing sectors. Only Mercedes Benz it sold 758,863 cars in China last year, more than in any other country, according to company figures.
Scholz, who is traveling with top German business leaders, received a formal welcome from Xi, who was recently re-elected leader of the ruling Communist Party for a third term, at the Great Hall of the People in the heart of Beijing.
“Currently, the international situation is complex and changing,” Xi told Scholz according to the state broadcaster. CCTV. “As influential powers, China and Germany should work together in times of change and chaos to make more contributions to world peace and development.”
On UkraineXi “pointed out that China supports Germany and the EU to play an important role in promoting peace talks and building a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework,” he reported. CCTV.
The international community must “create the conditions for the resumption of negotiations (and) jointly oppose the use or threat of use of nuclear weaponsXi said.
Without offering evidence, the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, repeated Moscow’s unproven accusation that Ukraine is planning a false flag attack with a dirty bomb radioactive that would try to immobilize Russia.
Ukraine has strongly rejected the accusation and its Western allies have dismissed it as “patently false”. Ukraine argued that Russia might be making the accusation to cover its own plot to detonate a dirty bomb.
Scholz is the first leader of the group of seven major industrialized countries meeting with Xi since the beginning of the pandemic of COVID-19, which was first detected in China in 2019, and the first European leader to visit China since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. which Germany has vigorously opposed.
The diplomatically sensitive trip comes as Germany and the European Union they are working on their strategy towards an increasingly assertive and authoritarian China.
Beijing has provided diplomatic backing for Moscow by repeatedly calling for peace talks while refusing to support measures in the United Nations who criticize the invasion of Russia. He also accused the United States and the NATO of provoking the attack and scathingly criticized the economic sanctions imposed on Russia.
In his opening remarks, Scholz addressed directly the conflict that has created millions of refugees and disrupted global food and energy markets, saying: “We meet at a time of great tension.”
“In particular, I want to highlight the russian war against ukrainewhich poses a lot of problems for our rules-based world order,” Scholz said.
Scholz also referred to world hunger, the climate changeoy the debt of the developing world as important issues.
At a subsequent press conference, Scholz said he told Xi that “it is important for China to exert its influence over Russia.”
“President Xi and I agree that the nuclear threats they are irresponsible and very dangerous. By using nuclear weapons, Russia would cross a line that the international community has drawn,” he said.
Scholz also said that he mentioned human rights and market access, telling Xi that any change in the status of self-government in Taiwan “It can only happen peacefully and by mutual agreement.” China claims the republic of the island as their own territory, to be brought under their control by force if necessary.
In an apparent reference to European lawmakers and the Baltic state of Lithuania that China has banned and boycotted because of its relations with TaiwanScholz said: “It is also important to make it clear that economic measures against individual EU member states are directed against the entire EU. single market, and sanctions against EU lawmakers are not acceptable to us.”
Scholz has been criticized for making the visit to China so soon after Xi’s triumph at last month’s congress, in which he promoted allies who support his vision of tighter control over society and the economy and a more confrontational approach. towards West.
The visit also comes amid rising tensions over Taiwan and follows a report by the UN which says that the human rights violations by China against the uyghurs and other ethnic groups in its Xinjiang region may constitute crimes against humanity.
Scholz is accompanied on the trip by a dozen top German business leaders, including the CEOs of volkswagen, BMW, BASF, Bayer and Deutsche Bank, most of which are doing prosperous business in China. Scholz will also meet with company representatives in Beijing.
That has some German observers wondering if the country is becoming too reliant on the Chinese market, as Russia did for energy supplies.
In a statement, the head of VW in China, Ralf Brandstattersaid Sholz’s visit is important in “politically and economically difficult times like these.”
China is Germany’s most important trading partner, with 5,000 German companies active in the country and hundreds of thousands of German jobs linked to the Chinese market. More than 14 million jobs in China depend on doing business with European companies, Brandstatter said.
Scholz also met with Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who nominally has responsibility for China’s economy.
In an article for the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Scholz said he would travel to Beijing “precisely because business as usual is not an option in this situation.”
Scholz’s messages will face close scrutiny, particularly at home, where some have criticized him for normalizing China’s behavior. While his administration of almost a year has signaled a departure from his predecessor’s firmly trade-first approach, Angela Merkel, His journey follows internal discord over a Chinese shipping company’s major investment in a container terminal at Germany’s crucial port of Hamburg.
As China continues to impose strict restrictions on the COVID-19, your delegation is moving in an antivirus bubble, undergoing tests and will not stay in Beijing overnight. At just 11 hours, it is the shortest trip to China by a German leader. The crew that took him to Beijing flew to South Korea to wait for the visit and avoid having to be in quarantine.
German officials say the trip is aimed at investigating where China is headed and what forms of cooperation are possible.
(With information from AP)