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Germany and China are getting closer and closer. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has indeed met Chinese President Xi Jinping: he is the first G7 leader to visit Beijing since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

Xi met Scholz at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, a German government source told AFP as part of a one-day visit that will see the German leader also meet Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Scholz asked the Chinese president to use “his influence on Russia” to end the “war of aggression” against Ukraine.

Olaf Scholz and Xi Jinping. Photo Ansa / Epa Yao Dawei

“It is about the need to respect the principles of the United Nations Charter which we have all signed”, underlined the German Chancellor. “These are principles like sovereignty and territorial integrity, which are also important to China.” On the very delicate question of Taiwan – the independent island allied to the United States that Beijing has always wanted to annex – Olaf Scholz reiterated Germany’s position. Berlin, like the United States and many other countries around the world, follows the one-China policy. However, Scholz added, part of being one China is also that “any change in the status quo of relations across the Taiwan Strait must be peaceful and consensual.”

China, appeal to the West

For his part, Xi Jinping called on the international community to “reject the use and threat of nuclear weapons” to avoid a “crisis on the Eurasian continent”. Terms that the leader of China used on the need to prevent the escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Xi Jinping also spoke of the common need to ensure the stability of food and energy supply chains. Both were interrupted by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Vladimir Poutine. Photo Ansa / Epa Grigory Sysoev

Scholz’s visit to Beijing, the Chinese president added, will “deepen practical cooperation” between China and Germany. The international situation, Xi stressed, “is complex and changing. As influential powers, China and Germany should work together in times of change and chaos to make greater contributions to world peace and development. If the principles of mutual respect, search for common ground, exchanges and mutual learning are maintained, the meaning of the relationship will not be diverted and the pace of progress will be stable”.

“A positive and non-ideological policy”

China also urges Germany to reject “block clash and ideological interference” in bilateral ties. And to pursue a “positive policy” towards Beijing. President Xi Jinping, in bilateral relations with Scholz, said the two countries “should always take the overall direction of bilateral relations from a strategic point and take a constructive attitude.” Xi, according to Chinese state network CCTV, expressed hope that “Germany will pursue a positive policy towards China for mutual benefits and win-win results for all.”

A Cosco container ship in the Port of Hamburg. Photo Ansa / Epa Focke Strangmann

Cosco, ‘longa manus’ from China

In fact, in recent days in Europe, there have been controversies against Chancellor Scholz. The German government has indeed given the final green light to the entry of the Chinese maritime transport giant Cosco into the port of Hamburg, the largest in Germany and one of the largest in Europe. The Shanghai-based company will acquire “only” 24.9% of the capital, limiting itself to a “simple financial participation”. To the relief of the Berlin Secret Service. Because initially, he should have acquired a 35% stake. In Italy, Cosco has already “conquered” the ports of Genoa, Naples, Livorno and Venice. In Greece The Piraeus of Athens, in Israel Haifa.

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