Germany tries to cut China summit, aims to unveil strategy in July – POLITICO

Berlin – Germany says welcome I kindly ask the Chinese government – but not to bring too many ministers – to a joint summit in Berlin next week.

Officials from Chancellor Olaf Scholes’ office and other ministries discussed scaling back German-Chinese government consultations on June 20, three officials with knowledge of the discussions told Politico.

Absent Beijing’s tacit support for Russia’s war in Taiwan and Ukraine, officials said Berlin is keen to avoid giving the impression that it is embracing China with more open arms, especially to EU partners the United States and Japan amid tensions over Taiwan. , agreed to speak to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions, as did all other officials in the area.

EU leaders are expected to discuss the alliance’s future relationship with China during a summit in Brussels on June 29 and 30.

Scholz and Chinese Premier Li Qiang will lead government consultations. German Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck is expected to attend as economic cooperation and trade will be key talking points during the summit. The German government aims to focus on overall controversial issues such as combating climate change.

Berlin is used to meeting with large Chinese delegations: in July 2018, the last time such a joint summit took place, former Chancellor Angela Merkel received a delegation. He has nine cabinet ministers by his side.

Next week’s meeting is expected to be significantly smaller, two officials said, but added that no final decision had been made as talks with Chinese representatives were ongoing.

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China canceled at the last minute a visit by German Finance Minister Christian Lindner in May. Lawmakers and officials suggested at the time that this may have been because Lindner is head of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), whose Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger made the first ministerial visit to Taiwan in a quarter century. In the month of March.

A German government spokesman said: „Understand that we do not comment in principle on internal integration processes,” adding that details would only be released on Friday.

Berlin’s cautious approach comes as the government aims to release its long-awaited China strategy in early July, which could be debated in parliament before the summer recess, according to four officials.

The date is not yet set in stone — the German government has suffered several painful delays in its national security strategy, which will be released on Wednesday — but officials said July 5 is a clear target for the chancellor and the foreign ministry.

A highly publicized first draft of China’s strategy includes criticism of China’s „massive human rights abuses,” but the final strategy will be „very nuanced,” one official said.

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