Germany

Employees work on the assembly line during a construction completion event of SAIC Volkswagen MEB electric vehicle plant in Shanghai, China, 8 November 2019. (Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters)

Will Europe pour more money into China?

This year’s dramatic geopolitical changes have significantly altered the calculus for foreign investment in China as large European enterprises are increasingly taking the lead and Japanese businesses are retreating in manufacturing and advancing in services. American companies, on the other hand, are frozen as the US government imposes tough sanctions on China’s tech sector and as manufacturers weigh strategic moves back to the US.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is seen ahead of the Global Fund Seventh Replenishment Conference in New York on 21 September 2022. (Ludovic Marin/AFP)

Germany and Europe a pawn of the US?

Analysing German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s recent visit to China, former journalist Goh Choon Kang offers the view that Germany — along with much of Europe — has been “weaponised” by the US for its own aims, whether in terms of China policy or the war in Ukraine. This is a clear lesson for other countries, those in Southeast Asia included.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) welcomes German Chancelor Olaf Scholz at the Grand Hall in Beijing, China, on 4 November 2022. (Kay Nietfeld/Pool/AFP)

Scholz's Asia month: Preparing Germany for a non-Western-centric world

Thorsten Benner of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin points out that unlike former Chancellor Merkel, current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has invested a lot of time into building closer connections with Asian partners. This fits in with his worldview of multiple emerging global powers, and the need to foster resilience, diversification and “de-risking” in achieving economic security vis-a-vis China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping awarded the Friendship Medal to Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in a grand award ceremony in the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, on 31 October 2022. (Xinhua)

China’s diplomacy in full swing after 20th Party Congress

Diplomatic activities appear to be back at full swing after the 20th Party Congress. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu notes that the visits by heads of states to China are driven by Beijing’s objectives of bringing its neighbours close, stabilising relations with Europe, and strengthening relations with developing countries. Will this help improve China’s relations and international image, especially amid the tense geopolitical background?
This photo taken on 16 October 2022 shows subway staff watching the opening session of the 20th Party Congress in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. (AFP)

China and the West continue sparring during party congress

China’s American and European partners do not seem keen on granting China a “stable external environment” during the 20th Party Congress. With diplomatic sparring ratcheting up, Xi’s new team will have its work cut out when the congress ends in a few days’ time.
A demonstrator wearing a face mask in the colours of the Ukraine flag attends a protest rally against the war in Ukraine at the German Chancellery in Berlin on 4 May 2022. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP)

Russia-Ukraine war: A turning point in Germany’s policy towards China

Economics professor Zhu Ying notes that even though Germany is economically dependent on China, its stand is changing due to the war in Ukraine, with China being seen as supportive of Russia’s invasion that goes against shared universal values. All in all, Germany’s increasing focus on values rather than economic interests is having a spillover effect on China.
In June 1937, German leader Hitler received China’s Finance Minister H.H. Kung at the Kehlsteinhaus in the mountains, representing the peak of China-Germany military cooperation. Kung was the special personal representative of Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek.

[Photo story] The secret pre-World War II diplomacy between China and Germany

Before World War II, an unlikely alliance and friendship sprang up between China and Germany. As diplomatic ties warmed, Germany provided China with arms and equipment against the Japanese invasion. However, because China and the Soviet Union were military allies, Hitler drew closer to Japan, resulting in the subsequent deterioration of China-Germany relations, and the division of camps in WWII.
This photo taken on 13 April 2022 shows a worker producing industrial robots at a factory in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. (AFP)

Why China has too many graduates and not enough skilled workers

Despite a record number of graduates entering the job market this year, China is seeing a shortage of skilled tradesmen, especially for the manufacturing industry. Chinese economics professor Li Jingkui believes that the main reason for the talent demand gap is China’s education system, which is driven by remnants of the backward ideology of the ancient feudal society.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gesticulates during a joint press conference with Danish Prime Minister following talks at the Chancellery on 9 February 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Michele Tantussi/Pool/AFP)

Will Germany's new government be tougher on China?

After 16 years in office, Angela Merkel handed over the German chancellery to Olaf Scholz in December. How should we evaluate her legacy regarding China and, with the new German government almost two months in, what can be said about the future of Germany’s China policy?