Germany’s new Ambassador to China, Patricia Flor came down heavily on Beijing’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy, inward-looking practices, and politically motivated and unfair trade restrictions for causing massive upheavals in international markets. She called upon China to allow for meaningful dialogues.
At a forum of Centre for China and Globalization (CCG) Forum held recently in Beijing, Mr. Flor was making her first public speech after assuming office. In her speech, she also said that rising geopolitical tensions across the globe viz.
Russia-Ukraine war and instability around Taiwan and in Asia would inevitably impact major economic players including major shipping routes for international trade and food and energy markets.
She said China as a member of the UN Security Council has a big responsibility in maintaining peace and stability in the world and in its own region. Media reports last week said that Germany will expand its military presence in the Indo-Pacific by sending more warships and joining drills with allies as it keeps an eye on the “enormous” build-up of China’s armed forces.
The German envoy said China’s zero COVID policies are of “unique nature”, and it has many direct effects on international economic and political cooperation. Large number of dialogues have been canceled and there is a total absence of foreign delegations and government or business interactions in person.
She also spoke about week-long lockdown in Shanghai and in other Chinese cities which caused disruption in supply chains. She warned, today while the world is opening up and connecting again, after more than two years, China is still isolating, and the adverse effects are enormous. She called upon China to work mutually for a real sincere solution-oriented dialogue in times of disagreement and differences which requires personal interaction and not video-conferences.
According to reports, Germany’s economy ministry is looking at moves to cut its dependence on China, its top trade partner. Germany, Europe’s largest economy is also considering screening not just Chinese investments in Germany but also German investments in China.