Olaf Scholz in China: Beijing is enthusiastic about the Chancellor’s visit

Olaf Scholz in China: Beijing is enthusiastic about the Chancellor’s visit

State press on the Beijing trip
Doubts, even criticism? So China is enthusiastic about the Scholz visit

Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected this Friday for a one-day inaugural visit to China (symbol image)

© Michael Kappeler/ / Picture Alliance

China is full of praise for Olaf Scholz, although the Chancellor has not yet arrived in Beijing. Opposition leader Friedrich Merz should feel confirmed.

The host is very fond of Olaf Scholz, and the Federal Chancellor has not even been to visit. But just the fact that the chancellor is leaving for Beijing has made the Chinese state press rejoice for days.

Scholz shows “pragmatism” and “reason,” it says full of praise, since the chancellor must defend himself against “ideological snipers” in his government or “young politicians” who have never in China had been and consequently had not the faintest idea about the German-Chinese cooperation, which was “indispensable” for the development of the Federal Republic. But Scholz is not shaken by all of this, which can also be read in the propaganda gazettes, which preface the chancellor with a great deal of recognition.

Scholz is expected to make a one-day inaugural visit to China this Friday. The chancellor, who is arriving in the presence of a business delegation, will be the first Western head of government since the beginning of the corona pandemic Beijing receive. And the joy, at least for the host, is obviously great.

The chancellor is far less enthusiastic about the visit in this country. After the controversial Cosco deal in the port of Hamburg, the Scholz against the objections of several ministries punched through his Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock reminded him as a precautionary measure what he had to record in Beijing. Scholz himself saw himself in the face of the loud criticism according to which both the timing and the signal of his journey are unfortunateapparently forced to explain his visit in more detail: “That’s what my trip to China is about,” he captioned one Guest article for the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”.

And to make matters worse, Friedrich Merz of all people can now feel confirmed. The leader of the Union parliamentary group – and, due to his position as leader of the opposition, the chancellor’s constantly agitated opponent – warned in advance of a “propaganda success” by the Chinese governmentthe chancellor’s visit should be so shortly after the President Xi Jinping elected Quasi-Emperor of China be very welcome there.

There is no doubt about it. In the Chinese state media, ultimately the language organ of the Communist Party (KP), the Scholz visit is already being given dizzying spins.

Olaf Scholz in the crosshairs of “ideological snipers”

For example, the “so-called concerns” about Germany’s dependence on China were jazzed up by “a certain amount of noise”, above all by Baerbock, who “failed” as German Foreign Minister and brought Germany “more trouble than profit”. At least that’s how the “Global Times” wants it to be understood, which has commented on Scholz’s inaugural visit several times in the past few days (e.g here, here and here). Baerbock, who is incorrectly titled there as “co-leader of the Green Party”, had one “new China policy” demanded and appealed to Scholz to convey key messages such as the importance of human rights and international law during his visit to China.

It was also the propaganda sheet that Chancellor Scholz thought was in the crosshairs of “ideological snipers.” And right now! This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, a “pragmatic cooperation” marked by “phenomenal” success so far. Alone: ​​”When the Berlin Wall fell in 1990, China accounted for less than 1 percent of German trade volume. By 2021, this figure had risen to 9.5 percent.” The fact that the wall fell in 1989 shouldn’t dampen Chinese enthusiasm. Because one thing is certain, at least for the “Global Times“: “It is normal that Scholz chooses a monumental day to maintain his country’s friendly relations with its largest trading partner through a visit.”

But who is surprised? At least not them “China Daily”, because Scholz is “known to be a man who weighs things up before he acts”. And although he acts cautiously, it is difficult to “change the path he has taken.” The German Chancellor believes in sustainable government, writes the newspaper appreciatively. To then quite demonstratively draw a parallel to the Chinese President. Of paths: Scholz and Xi Jinping – two meet that fit together.

The Chinese head of state has a “strong record as a leader”, a “long-term strategy” and “global vision” for the world, and is “ready to take on new tasks”. The fact that this could also include the forcible annexation of Taiwan or the expansion of the surveillance state is not mentioned at all. In any case, at the end of the bizarre equation is that “there is a basis for respect and understanding between the Chinese and German leaders” that could strengthen trust in a reliable partnership “across all system competitions”. And so “China Daily” comes to the conclusion: “This is indeed the right time for the meeting, as it can intervene at an important crossroads in history.”

A staunch Chancellor

It only remains to be clarified which topics will be on the agenda in Beijing. Scholz announced in advance that he would “not ignore controversies” in talks with the Chinese leadership and would also address contentious issues such as the human rights situation. The talks will be “about the entire range of our relations with China”, it says in the Chancellor’s appointment calendarbut also about international issues, including the fight against climate change and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

State press on the Beijing trip: Doubts, even criticism?  So China is enthusiastic about the Scholz visit

According to Zheng Chunrong, allegedly a professor and director of a research center and a frequent source of quotes in Chinese state media, Scholz’s trip to China has three goals. One of them: “Error Correction”. The attitude in Germany and the EU to reduce dependence on China is very strong. Scholz wants to correct this “false doctrine”, the questionable expert adds “German.China.Org” quoted. To a certain extent, his visit represents a “strategic, pragmatic and sensible independence”. Although the pressure on the chancellor because of his trip is great, the portal is surprised in the introduction, one thing is obviously to be welcomed: “Scholz won’t let himself go shake.”

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