2 December 2021
Co-chair of the German Alliance 90/The Greens party Annalena Baerbock, who is likely to head the Foreign Ministry, did not rule out a tougher policy towards China but, at the same time, upheld the development of a common European policy towards the Asian superpower, according to the Tageszeitung newspaper.
“Dialogue is a central element of global politics. But this does not mean that one needs to embellish [the current situation] or keep silent,” the German politician said. As Baerbock noted, a foreign policy, which brings to the fore disagreements, as well as one, which is based on ignoring conflicts, is deadlocked. “That is why, in my opinion, a foreign policy based on values is always a combination of dialogue and toughness. Eloquent silence is not a permanent form of diplomacy, although many viewed it as such in recent years,” the Greens co-chair noted.
Furthermore, Baerbock touched upon economic relations with China. “We have one of the largest domestic markets in the world,” she said, noting that China also was very interested in the European market. According to the political leader, China will face serious challenges if it stops exporting goods to Europe. “We, Europeans, need to use this leverage with the common internal market much more widely,” Baerbock stated.
However, the political leader mentioned that it would only be effective if all 27 EU member states unite. “We need a common European policy towards China,” Baerbock went on to say. She also stressed the need for cooperation with China in mitigating global problems, including climate change and countering the pandemic. “We are competitors in other areas, especially when it comes to leadership in the field of technology,” the Greens co-chair stated.
Speaking about a possible boycott of the Winter Olympic Games, which will take place in Beijing from February 4 to 20, 2022, Baerbock noted that the German leadership should consider it closely. “There are different ways for governments to handle this, which will certainly be discussed in the coming weeks,” the politician said. Earlier, political officials from Canada, Norway, the US, as well as the representatives of nearly 200 human rights organizations worldwide, called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Games hosted by China. The reason behind this move is the alleged massive repression carried out by Beijing against the Uyghurs, natives of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China.
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