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Beijing Reactions to Germany's China Strategy

China's moderate response

Chinese officials and the state media have reacted with deliberate calm to the German government's new China strategy, which Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock presented last Thursday, July 13. Behind China's restraint is also the political calculation to calm things down so as not to endanger German investments in China.

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Shortly before the summer break, Foreign Minister Baerbock presented the German government's China strategy, which had been awaited for months, on the premises of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics). No chancellor, no minister from another department, no state secretary stood by her side. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz merely accompanied the presentation of the China paper from a distance and sent out two tweets.

The Chinese Foreign Office reacted to the publication of the German China paper with emphatic calmness. “We believe that it is counterproductive to compete and engage in protectionism in the name of 'risk reduction' or 'dependency reduction', to stretch the notion of security and to politicize normal cooperation," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press conference last Friday.

There are probably several reasons why China is reacting soberly, almost moderately, to the German China strategy. From an economic point of view, China has no interest in deterring potential investors from Germany with an exaggerated reaction. In addition, China can claim as a success that the final version of the China strategy was significantly weakened in parts. On 64 pages, it provides a detailed inventory of Germany's complex relations with China, but does not (yet) formulate a strategy.


This country report is currently available in full length in German only. 

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Johann C. Fuhrmann

Johann C

Head of the China Office +86 10 6462-2207; 2208 +86 10 6462-2209
Country Reports
IMAGO / NurPhoto
June 27, 2023
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