Germany’s new government must shake off Merkel-era economic dependence on China



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A new government will soon be launched in Germany, the driving force of the European Union. We hope the new administration will move clearly from the Merkel administration’s long-standing focus on China to a foreign policy that emphasizes a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.

After winning the parliamentary elections in September, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) agreed to form a coalition government with the Greens, the Environmental Party and the center-right Free Democratic Party (FDP). Olaf Scholz of the SPD will assume the post of Chancellor.

The coalition agreement focuses on the environment and human rights.

In the fight against climate change, the coalition announced that it would move the phase-out of coal-fired power generation to 2030 from the Merkel administration’s policy of stopping coal by 2038. The policy radical anti-charcoal compatible with stable energy? the supply is questionable.

Meanwhile, in the area of ​​diplomatic security, the coalition has taken a strong stand on human rights issues, keeping in mind the enormous state power of China, among other countries. As part of efforts to promote the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” strategy, it will aim to strengthen relations with Japan, Australia, India and South Korea.

The coalition agreement views human rights violations by the Chinese government in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as problematic and calls for the continuation of the “one country, two systems” policy in Hong Kong. He argues for the need to resolve disputes in the South and East China Seas in accordance with international law and asserts that any change to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait must be based on peaceful and mutual agreement.

The coalition deal can generally be seen as a call for restraint on the part of China, which displays its military might in a threatening posture towards Taiwan. He also expresses his support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.

The Merkel administration has always relied on China to develop the German economy, as shown by the fact that German auto giant Volkswagen derives 40% of its profits from the Chinese market.

Regardless of this, we welcome the policy of the new German government to work with Japan, Australia and other countries that uphold the core values ​​of human rights, freedom and democracy.

Germany will assume the presidency of the G7 in 2022. The new government is expected to act to protect human rights and international law.

The Chinese government has expressed strong opposition to parts of the German coalition agreement relating to China, calling them interference in internal affairs.

Japan, like Germany, has close economic ties with China. We hope that the governments of Japan and Germany will cooperate to protect a free and open Indo-Pacific, and will not back down in the face of criticism and opposition from the Chinese government.

(Read it Sankei Shimbun editorial in Japanese on this link.)

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Author: editorial board, The Sankei Shimbun


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