China and Germany must cooperate to help stabilise the world against pandemic and economic woes, says Wang Yi

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Germany’s China policy under the new government should remain pragmatic and should further cooperation that brings “positive expectations” for the countries’ ties.

China and Germany should also strengthen their communication to bring stability to the world as Covid-19 raged and economic recovery remained weak, Wang told German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, according to the Chinese foreign ministry statement about the video conference on Tuesday.

Wang said the two sides should make good use of the government consultation mechanism to improve bilateral relations.

Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.

The relatively new German government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz has described China as a “systemic rival” and has been more vocal in making its concerns over China’s human rights record known, mainly from Scholz’s coalition partners.

“China and Germany are both beneficiaries of and contributors to globalisation, and noise about decoupling is not in the interests of both sides and countries,” Wang was quoted as saying.

Wang also repeated China’s push for a world order based on the United Nations system and international law, a veiled reference to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Global Security Initiative that targets what China sees as the West’s unilateral sanctions in the Ukraine war.

China would not be absent in matters of international concern, Wang said, reiterating China’s position that countries should push for a ceasefire in Ukraine.

Germany’s Scholz visits Japan, not China, on first Asia trip

Baerbock said international cooperation was important but it “must be based on the fundamental norms of the international order, which must be respected and defended by all”, according to the statement of the meeting from the German foreign office.

“Germany strongly appeals to all members of the international community to condemn Russia’s illegal war of aggression and to assume their responsibility to uphold international law and to protect the UN Charter,” she was quoted as saying.

Baerbock’s description of the Ukraine war is missing from the Chinese statement.

China does not label Russia’s attack on Ukraine since February 24 an “invasion” and has refused to condemn or take part in sanctioning Russia, saying sanctions would not contribute to peace talks.

Also missing from the Chinese statement on the meeting were Baerbock’s comments on Xinjiang. She called for a transparent investigation into new reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang, which she described as “shocking”.

Thousands of alleged police documents and photos appearing to show how China interned Uygurs and members of other ethnic minority groups were made public by scholar Adrian Zenz on Tuesday.

Xi tells Scholz Europe’s security ‘should be kept in the hands of Europeans’

The new German government has yet to show clearly how it would deal with a more assertive China. Scholz, of the Social Democratic Party, is facing increasing pressure domestically and in Europe to tackle China’s human rights issues while maintaining a strong economic relationship.

His coalition partners, the Greens and the Free Democratic Party, have urged him to take a tougher line on a range of Beijing’s policies, including those on Taiwan.

China’s banning of exports from Lithuania, an EU member state, also increased pressure for Berlin. Lithuania’s ties with China nosedived after Taipei opened a de facto embassy in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, using the name “Taiwan” instead of “Taipei” as is usual practice to avoid referencing the self-ruled island, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.

More from South China Morning Post:

For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2022.

Article type: free
User access status:
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

SCMP , China , Germany


Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines at 9pm on Saturday (June 25, 2022)
Singapore: More than 300 suspects rounded up this week under police investigation for scamming victims of RM19 million
Indonesian palm oil farmers call for removal of local sales rules
Thailand records 2,236 new Covid-19 cases and 16 deaths on Saturday (June 25)
Duterte ends China oil talks, leaving big task ahead for new Philippines' president Marcos
Vietnam reports 657 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday (June 25)
North Korea denounces U.S. 'aggression' as it marks war anniversary
Japan records hottest June day amid energy squeeze
Countries should do much more together to prepare for next pandemic, says Singapore PM at Commonwealth leaders' meeting
Indonesia to buy 29 million foot and mouth disease vaccine doses as outbreak worsens

Others Also Read