BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany unveiled its new strategy on China on Thursday, which points to Beijing’s “increasingly assertive” stance and outlines possible responses, such as controlling foreign investment. foreign in advanced technologies for military use.
The 64-page document is part of a broader movement in the West to reduce strategic dependencies on China over concerns over Beijing’s hegemony in the Indo-Pacific region.
“China has changed. As a result of this and China’s policy decisions, we need to change our approach to China,” reads the document approved by the cabinet on Thursday after months of wrangling in Chancellor Olaf’s three-party coalition. Scholz.
China remains an indispensable partner in tackling global challenges such as climate change and pandemics.
However, it is increasingly assertive in its attempts to change the rules-based international order, with implications for global security.
China’s decision to expand its relations with Russia also has immediate consequences for Germany’s security.
Germany will continue to strengthen its military presence and cooperation with partners in the Indo-Pacific region, she said, warning that the status quo in the Taiwan Strait can only be changed by peaceful means and by mutual consent.
“Military escalation would otherwise affect German and European interests,” the strategy states.
Germany will also develop its close relationship with Taiwan while continuing to adhere to the “one China policy”, which recognizes the government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China.
German business associations on Thursday hailed the economic component of the new strategy, as it is based on reducing risk rather than severing economic ties.
The document does not set binding or specific targets for companies.
Germany is particularly concerned about the economic impact of this risk reduction strategy on an economy already in recession, given its close trade ties with China, which became the country’s largest trading partner in 2016. .
“There is a risk that entrepreneurial dynamism will be too constrained,” said Siegfried Russwurm, chairman of industry association BDI.
The BDI believes that a more in-depth discussion on the concrete application of certain measures, such as the instruments for controlling German investments abroad, was still necessary.
With nearly 300 billion euros in imports and exports, China is a key market for large German companies, including Volkswagen, BASF and BMW.
“The federal government affirms its responsibility and determination to coordinate with its partners to prevent the advanced technologies we develop from being used to enhance military capabilities that threaten international peace and security,” the government says in its document. .
“We recognize that appropriate measures designed to counter the risks associated with overseas investment could be important to complement existing instruments for targeted controls of domestic exports and investments.”
(Reporting Sarah Marsh, Andreas Rinke, Matthias Williams, Friederike Heine, Miranda Murray, Rachel More; Nathan Vifflin, editing by Kate Entringer)
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