Germany Unveils Strategy to “De-Risk” from China

Germany’s long-awaited “China Strategy” has finally arrived, and while it’s not as strong as China hawks wanted, it will still likely harm trade ties between the two countries.

Hardliners from the Greens like foreign minister Annalena Baerbock and minister for economic affairs and climate action Robert Habeck had wanted measures ranging from strong export and import controls and China-risk stress tests for German companies. Those provisions did not make the final document. From Politico EU:

Notably, the strategy no longer includes earlier proposals to introduce a “reporting obligation” and “stress tests” for companies that are particularly exposed to China. Instead, the final document says that the government will seek to “raise awareness” and “intensify exchanges” but “expects” that companies manage risk by themselves.

Whether the majority of German companies — which invested a new record sum of €11.5 billion in China last year — will really do so on their own is questionable, though.

The strategy is clear, though, that an EU investment agreement with China — which had been pushed forward by former Chancellor Angela Merkel but has been put on ice for the past two years — “cannot take place at present for various reasons.”

…The strategy is toughest on human rights, lambasting Beijing over the “grave” violations of the rights of Uyghurs in Xinjiang as well as the situation in Tibet and Hong Kong, highlighting “the situation of ethnic and religious communities, and the significantly worsened situation of human rights defenders.”

The document said that Germany wants to coordinate its China policy with the EU and supports the application of EU sanctions against Beijing “in the event of serious human rights violations.”

The new policy also calls for preventing the export of sensitive technology and know-how to China. Beijing, expectedly, is not a fan of the strategy. From the Global Times:

In response to the published German strategy, the Chinese Embassy to Germany said in a statement on Thursday that China hopes Germany can view China’s development in a rational, comprehensive and objective manner.

The difficulties and challenges Germany is currently facing are not caused by China. Viewing China as a “competitor and systemic rival” does not accord with reality, nor does it benefit either sides’ interests, said the embassy.

The embassy said viewing China and making China policy based on ideological bias will only lead to misunderstanding and misjudgment, and impair cooperation and mutual trust.

Baerbock, speaking on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius, said the strategy sends the signal “that we are not naive.” That’s debatable.

The lesson Berlin has decided to draw from the whole Ukraine fiasco and its severing of energy ties with Russia is that Germany erred by being overly reliant on Moscow for fossil fuels. They are determined to not make the same “mistake” with their largest trading partner, China.

Should they have learned another lesson that should give them pause?

At his meeting with Baerbock in May, Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang acknowledged that China would be hurt by a “new Cold War” but noted Europe would suffer more. He mentioned a recent report from the Austrian Institute of Economic Research and the Foundation for Family Businesses, which estimates that Germany’s GDP would drop two percent if it “de-risks” from China.

A recent New York Times piece continued to push the narrative that by trading with China, Germany falls into a trap of “reliance” like it did by getting Russian energy. But the article also hits on how important China is to the German economy including:

  • “Germany depends on China to provide essential technology products, including mobile phones and LEDs, as well as raw materials, including lithium and rare earth elements.”
  • “China has been Germany’s biggest trading partner for seven years in a row.”
  • “German automakers, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, sell roughly a third of all vehicles they produce in China — exceeding sales in all of Western Europe.”
  • “A study by the Kiel Institute showed that decoupling from China would be very costly for all of Europe, but especially Germany, given the strength of its economic ties. Calculations by the institute, based on gross domestic product from 2019, showed that Germany could lose income worth more than €131 billion. And it could be even more if China retaliated.”

And there’s more:

The strategy takes a tougher line toward China than the one embraced by governments led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who viewed China as a huge growth market for German goods.

That push created a tight relationship with China, more than a million German jobs that depend directly on China, and many more indirectly. Nearly half of all European investments in China are from Germany, and almost half of German manufacturing businesses rely on China for some part of their supply chain.

It might seem like an odd time to “de-risk” considering the headwinds currently facing the German economy. It no longer has access to cheap Russian fossil fuels, and it is an importer of critical minerals used in manufacturing such as electric cars. The country’s exports to Asia are shrinking, and its auto manufacturing is in decline. The only component of Berlin’s economic model still left is wage suppression, and its doubling down on those efforts.Real wages fell at record speed in Germany last year.

The country is already in a recession, inflation remains high (6.4 percent in June) and is largely driven by energy prices, which continues to make German industry less competitive. German exports unexpectedly declined in May. Business morale is plummeting. Insolvencies filed in Germany in June rose by 13.9 percent year-on-year.

A record high of 71 percent of the German public are not satisfied with the work of the federal government, according to a recent Deutschlandtrend survey. The anti-EU, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany is surging in the polls, largely due to public dissatisfaction with the government’s policy towards Ukraine and Russia and the economic costs of those decisions. The rise of AfD has German spooks sounding the democracy-threat alarm. Thomas Haldenwang, the chief of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, said at a news conference recently that far-right views and positions pose the biggest threat to German democracy – or at least whatever is left of it.

Despite all of that, the China hawks, led by Baerbock, push on nonetheless.

The overly confident and outspoken Atlanticist has been one of the biggest proponents of a tougher German stance against China. She favors a “feminist” interventionist foreign policy that aligns neatly with the US’ enemy list, and has done her best to damage ties with Beijing.

Berlin says  it wants to coordinate its China policy with the EU. Well, the EU wants to coordinate its policy with Washington.

EU foreign ministers met back in May and backed a more hardline position on China; now they just need to figure out how to put it into practice, foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. The ministers agreed that coordination with the United States will “remain essential” as they work to, as President Ursula von der Leyen put it recently, “de-risk” from China.

Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang happened to be in Berlin at that time, which led to the second war-of-words appearance in a month of him and his German counterpart Baerbock who continues to do her best to damage ties between Berlin and its largest trading partner.

While Qin stressed China’s neutrality in the Ukraine war and its efforts to formulate a peace plan, Baerbock insisted neutrality is not an option. “Neutrality means taking the side of the aggressor,” she told Qin according to Deutsche Welle. She also labeled China a “systemic rival.”

The great irony in all this is that the Germans are putting so much effort into confronting China while its “ally” the US is working to poach German industry, Berlin still hasn’t gotten to the bottom of who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines, and they’re now going to suffer even more as the US-China rivalry heats up. From Reuters:

A German official said on Wednesday the country has been working to secure long-term supplies of critical and strategic raw materials as it assesses the possible effects of Chinese export controls on some metals used in semiconductors.

China announced on Monday it would control exports of some metals widely used in the sector, the latest salvo in an escalating stand-off between Beijing and the United States.

In 2022, China supplied 27 tonnes of gallium to Germany, accounting for 55% of total imports. Regarding germanium, China supplied 3 tonnes, or 75%, according to data supplied by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR).

A German industry representative said earlier on Wednesday that China’s decision may be in response to U.S. trade restrictions, but its impact will also be felt in Europe.

The EU increasingly looks doomed to repeat its Russia “de-risking” strategy with China, and it can be expected to be similarly disastrous for the bloc. From the South China Morning Post:

Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang has warned that the real “risk” Europe faces comes from “a certain country” that is waging a “new cold war”, imposing unilateral sanctions and exporting its own financial problems to others.

Qin did not mention the US by name, but accused the country in question of fomenting ideological confrontation and engaging in camp confrontation, when asked about the EU’s “de-risking” strategy…

Qin said he appreciated the stance of Berlin and Brussels, but raised Beijing’s concerns that the strategy could become a “de-sinicisation” of the continent that would cut opportunities, cooperation, stability and development.

Indeed, that is what is slowly happening. Meanwhile, President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen has been touting the bloc’s Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA), which aims for the EU to process 40 percent of the strategic raw materials it uses by 2030. The NZIA would allow projects to bypass many environmental and social impact reviews. But the proposals do not earmark any new money, and the policies do nothing to change Europe’s disadvantages, which include a lack of subsidies compared to the US and China and much higher energy costs thanks to their “de-risking” away from Russian energy.

The problem for the EU is that much like the de-risking from Russian energy, its roadmap to de-risk from China will take years and is filled with question marks, but if Europe continues to damage ties at the current rate, it runs the risk of further wrecking its economies. Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at the Economist Intelligence Unit, outlines some of the risks for the EU should relations continue to deteriorate:

The EU would lose its biggest trading partner for goods. The consequences of this would be dire for European export-oriented firms, as China is their third largest export market. Losing access to a market of 1.4 billion consumers is simply not an option for many European businesses.

Goods shortages would become commonplace in Europe, as EU imports from China are twice the size of those from the US (the EU’s second-largest source of imports). The competitiveness of European firms is too low to replace all imports from China, notably for basic manufactured staples. As such, decoupling from China would weigh on growth and fuel consumer inflation.

Besides, a European decoupling from China would probably provoke Chinese retaliation. Beijing has an ace up its sleeve with rare earths. China controls the vast majority of known rare-earths deposits. It could curb the access of European firms to these crucial raw materials. Without them, the development of electrical vehicles, military gear, and semiconductors would stall in Europe.

NATO officials, too, ramped up their criticisms of Beijing this week. From Al Jazeera:

In a strongly worded statement issued halfway through their two-day summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, NATO leaders said the People’s Republic of China (PRC) challenged the alliance’s interests, security and values with its “stated ambitions and coercive policies”.

“The PRC employs a broad range of political, economic, and military tools to increase its global footprint and project power, while remaining opaque about its strategy, intentions and military build-up,” the group’s leaders said in their communique, which covered 90 different points.

“The PRC’s malicious hybrid and cyber operations and its confrontational rhetoric and disinformation target Allies and harm Alliance security.”

The Chinese mission to the European Union condemned the comments, accusing NATO of distorting China’s position and deliberately trying to discredit the country.

Similar to the Russia escapade, the line of thinking in Brussels seems to be to do what the Americans say and figure it out on the fly. And it can be expected to work out similarly to the efforts to isolate Russia:

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  1. DJG, Reality Czar

    Many thanks for the review of just how depraved (is there another word to describe this?) the elites of NATO countries are. To wit:

    “[Annalena Baerbock] favors a “feminist” interventionist foreign policy that aligns neatly with the US’ enemy list, and has done her best to damage ties with Beijing.”

    Baerbock, une bourgeoise and product of London School of Economics, is also a strong signal of what happens with power: Unless one has an ethic that questions power, power corrupts. Compare: Victoria Nuland, Hillary Clinton, that bizarre relic Claire McCaskill.

    I suspect that we are seeing the wreckage of feminism, with a few of the women who emerged on top of the Old Girls’ Network in charge of handing out the goodies.

    Just like the days of Grandpa Jedediah, who had to resign from the board of trustees of the Methodist church over that incident about trust that we don’t talk about…

    1. timbers

      “feminist” interventionist foreign policy

      Feminism is a binary construct and therefore a micro-aggression against the non-binary LGBT+18 other sexes community and thus racist and bigoted.

      Is a bird a male or female? That’s a racist question. Because what if the bird thinks it’s a spider? What if it is actually one of the 17 other sexes?

      We all need to ask ourselves why hasn’t Baerbock’s comments been censored because of microaggressions.

    2. R.S.

      Methinks her feminism is as genuine as her environmentalism. She should’ve tried herself in poetry or something. Because “das Land der Dichter und Denker”, and she’s definitely not the latter.

    3. Irrational

      I feel offended as a female who has gotten where she is through hard work. And to echo R.S.’s point: no, Ms “360 degrees’ turn” Baerbock is certainly no thinker, she is an embarassment. But the electorate loves her, go figure!

        1. Synoia

          I posit Baerbock is nothing more than a US educated Opportunist — As are the majority of politicians, us educated or not.

          If the winds of policy change, so will she. One cannot blame her for exhibiting bias, because if the statements on this web site are true about US penetration of the deeds of political figures are accurate, then a huge majority if political figures are just a shadow of their handlers.

          At some point that influence will collapse, probably driven by climate change but with the collapse blamed on China.

    4. ChrisRUEcon

      As always, “they” need to find an angle to insert some tribal virtue signaling into to whole fetid mess, so that the stench doesn’t get in the way to selling the putrid and proper policy.

      “Look! (waving arms furiously) We have a ‘feminism’! Girl power I tell you! (cue The Spice Girls)”

      This is the money quote for me:

      Similar to the Russia escapade, the line of thinking in Brussels seems to be to do what the Americans say and figure it out on the fly. And it can be expected to work out similarly to the efforts to isolate Russia

      The US making all it’s diplomatic lackeys run the same “take my ball and go home” strategy is chef’s kiss towards all China’s international aspirations coming to fruition.


  2. Plebe

    Decoupling/ derisking from China may very well take time, but must be done. While much is written and opining about how quasi altruistic china’s global loans are, evidence presented seems more anecdotal than factual. In Ecuador, for instance, they built a dam that turned out shoddy and very expensive.

    All of the infrastructure projects require that china brings Chinese nationals workers, rather than hire local workers where they’re selling overpriced and shoddy infrastructure.

    After Covid, the west must have better control on drug manufacturing, for one. Then, there’s the issue of the artificial islands in the south China a
    Sea to control maritime traffic. And what about the Uyghurs?

    It’s not that the US & the West have clean hands, but do we need yet another exploitative power?

    If the MAGA party is horrible, the Biden Administration isn’t any better. Antony Blinden and victoria Nuland have been working OT on getting Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel, not finding a solution to end the Ukrainian conflict. That would interfere with the Blackstone’s Larry Fink’s looting of Ukraine.

    1. Rich in OC

      Please provide a link, any link, in the Western press that portrayed China’s loans as ‘quasi altruistic’. I read quite a bit on China and would hate to think I’ve missed something as spectacularly, er, shall we say nonconformist as that.

    2. itsaclasswar

      Ah, good old Debt-Trap-Diplomacy myth. Invented and tirelessly trumpeted by the same noble circles that brought us the IMF and the World Bank.

      Is this factual enough (a quick Google search):

      There are not many parts of the world where you can build something like a dam, within any reasonable timeframe, hiring local workers only.

      And even if that particular dam construction could be objectively considered “shoddy and very expensive”, an unsubstantiated claim, and if the responsibility was solely on the builders, happens rarely, using a single example to generalise and accuse the Chinese of “selling overpriced and shoddy infrastructure” seems, how shall I put it, intellectually dishonest.

  3. Stephen

    Great article. Thanks.

    So if India stays smart then it gets to make money from trading with everyone as the middle man between China / Russia and Europe / US. In the old days America used to be smart enough to trade with all sides.

    Clearly, todays European elites are so ideologically linked to the U.S. and so committed to being vassals that they literally do just wait for the memo and then fall into line.

    Just as with the Ukraine war creating a stronger Russian military, these actions will create the very problem of a more resurgent China that they seek to prevent. A country of 1.4 billion people can easily live without Europe if it really needs to. Quite what the specific “threat” it poses is also unclear. The People’s Army hardly seems poised to invade Germany. For example.

    This stupidity surely cannot last for ever. Surely?

    1. The Heretic

      This 1.4 Billion nation has the industries, a lot of knowledge, skills and work ethic of its people (termed Human Resources, but I hate to use reductionist toward people), and a government that is moderate to strongly competent on many issues, however it is a country that needs to import many raw materials, and water will be a critical issue as climate change and environmental degradation (due to their own industries) continues …hence the Achilles heel of China. However the resource issues are perhaps now well resolved courtesy of the Americans driving the Russians into a partnership with China, effectively handing control of Eurasia to a troika (Russia, Iran, China) or a possible quadka (Russia , Iran, India, China); the Belt and Road infrastructure across Eurasia is now safe and and can move raw material to China and ship finished goods to its allies.

  4. Louis Fyne

    it feels like that I’m watching a geopolitical, “Great Game” version of Jonestown.

    If I’m the only one not drinking the kool-aid, maybe I am the crazy one?

    1. Synoia

      You are only crazy if you shoot yourself in the foot before going to your wedding, and believe that increases your ability to dance.

    2. Lex

      Pretty much. The psychology is fascinating. Imagine if such political will could be harnessed for something like improving the lives of citizens or addressing environmental degradation…

  5. The Rev Kev

    I think that it is only a matter of time until the US gets into some sort of fight with China. And when they do, Washington will tell Brussels to cut off all trade with China itself. Of course that will devastate what economy is left in the EU, particularly Germany, but Washington will not care as it is all in defense of the Rules-Based Order. The only thing that might stop this will be a radical change of leadership in several EU countries and here I am talking about Meroni in Italy, Macron in France and Habeck & Baerbock in Germany for a start. And if the Russians end up defeating the Ukraine comprehensively, this might be the trigger for this to happen as so many people in those EU countries will ask why they impoverished themselves when the promised victory never materialized – but that they still have an enormous bill to pick up and a boatload of Ukrainian refugees on hand demanding to be taken care of. For Germany, trying to de-risk China simply means to cut back trade with them for what is absolutely needed and little else. But this hostility to China displayed by people like Baerbock makes no sense as they need China more than China needs Germany.

    1. Dida

      if the Russians end up defeating the Ukraine comprehensively

      That is certainly not going to happen. The US will not allow it. The West will only escalate from here, and then escalate again and then escalate some more. Expect global war within 2-5 years. The oligarchs have built themselves luxurious bunker communities, so what do they care if the rest of us blow up.

      Europe will be tasked with keeping Russia busy. Of course they will not want to spoil their beautifully manicured gardens, so Eastern Europe will be chosen as the theatre of war. Poland, Romania, and the Baltics will be lured with promises of territorial enlargement. Israel will be delighted to be charged with destroying Iran. The US will concentrate on China, together with its faithful allies – Japan and Australia for sure, but also South Korea and likely the Philippines. For the moment it looks like Modi is not stupid enough to join this suicidal club, but this might change. America’s demented geostrategists could promise him Tibet and its wealth of water.

      America’s senile president has already started WWIII, but the citizenry is sadly asleep.

      1. hk

        What US “allows” is not really relevant any more. What can US do? Send US forces in Europe into Ukraine? I don’t think there is enough in place to fight a full scale war at the moment–if they do openly enter combat, they can only be annihilated, and worse, justify the Russians rolling on to the English Channel to “punish the aggressors.” Not only will proper mobilization and redeployment take time, they will need to be politically justified months or even years in advance and I don’t that will fly with practically anyone in US except the craziest.

  6. Bill Malcolm

    German government twerps, er, politicians, seem to not be “afraid” of their big businesses at all. VW was their first automaker to China back in the early 1980s — Mercedes and BMW are latecomers by contrast. Yet they, and other German businesses, today meekly acquiesce to the ravings of the likes of Baerbock. Quite extraordinary.

    This article several times mentions that Germany has cut energy ties with Russia. But has it done so completely with regard to natural gas? I thought some was still flowing, some of which was then even being backfed to Poland. I”d appreciate an update on this situation, because everyone seems to have forgotten about it. How can Germany fill its reserves for the coming winter — there’s not enough monopoly-priced US LNG to do it. Even during last winter which was warm, Germans were chopping down trees for home heat.

    Just to further show how nuts Germany is, their customs people are apparently seizing cars with Russian licence plates, if the NC link to an RT story proves to be true. Cruisin’ for a bruisin’ seems to be the official lunatic German mindset with regard to China and Russia.

    The German attitude is so literally crazy, utter madness, I find it hard to believe. Another German retired colonel (according to Indian Punchline) says “cut off Kaliningrad from the Russian supply lines.” Who supplies electricity to the neighbouring Baltic states? Guess. Russia from Kaliningrad. Great idea, colonel, now drink another bottle of schnapps.

    If Russia actually turned off all natural gas to all of Europe and to the flapdoodle Erdogan nursing his new IMF tranche Old Slow Joe gave him, what then? Gas is still the ace up Russia’s sleeve. All these European mental midgets seem to have a one to two day forward planning horizon. Happy Bastille day to Macron, while I’m at it. Watch out for stray guillotines, m’sieur.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘If Russia actually turned off all natural gas to all of Europe’

      That may happen anyway as the Ukrainians are saying – according to an article called “If Russia actually turned off all natural gas to all of Europe” in today’s Links – that they will not renew the gas deal with Russia at the end of next year. The Russians can always turn around and sell that gas to China but what will the Ukraine and especially the EU do with no Russian gas whatsoever? And if the Ukraine starts to lose this war fast, then I am betting that they will bomb those gas pipelines out of spite, no matter how much the people there suffer. And that can happen well before this winter.

    2. vao

      German businesses, today meekly acquiesce to the ravings of the likes of Baerbock. Quite extraordinary.

      This is something I have argued ever since the war in Ukraine started and the EU imposed self-mutilating sanctions on Russia: large German firms, operating internationally, do not protest because they have a plan B — simply relocate to other countries where energy is affordable and raw materials (including rare earths) available without trouble.

      Why pick up a (dangerous) fight with the German government (and behind it, the EU, NATO, and the USA) when they can simply solve the problem by doing what they have been doing for decades, i.e. offshoring? This is already happening: 16% of firms are already transferring production capacity outside Germany, and 30% are thinking about it — top two reasons invoked: energy and labour costs.

      As for SMEs, they simply do not have the lobbying heft required to make themselves heard, even less to influence policies decisively. The mighty endeavour what they can, the weak endure what they must.

      1. Geoffrey

        “German businesses, today meekly acquiesce to the ravings of the likes of Baerbock. Quite extraordinary”
        The acquiescence of German industry may speak to something else, referred to by ‘Indian Punchline’: some in Germany are really still smarting from the Red Army’s mauling in 1945. A possible medium-term escape route out of Germany’s emasculated post 1945 predicament of being occupied (US troops, bases, CIA etc) now presents itself: the US is forcefully encouraging it to re-militarise and Germany is very enthusiastic about it, for the time being under NATO command – but for how long? The US is in long term decline, an emasculated Germany (ie without armed security heft) in the centre of Europe is not where the German nation wants to be long term. Perhaps it can turn the US occupation from a norm to a time-limited historic abberation? The German industies that can move out have that choice, re-militarisation will birth a very profitable whole new set of industries….and a more sovereign Germany could be reborn in the centre of Europe. Truely, as John Helmer often says, it appears the vectors of WW2 are again in motion after an eight decade intereggnum….

        1. hk

          Remilitarize with what? Germany today is far more dependent on imported resources–from farther away–than in 1939. Let’s not forget that, literally until the day before Barbarossa, Germany was getting vast amounts of raw materials and oil from Russia and had favorable trade deals that supplied much of its resource needs from its de facto satelites in the Balkans. Germany today does not have the resources to reverse deinstrustrialization, let alone remilitarize.

  7. John k

    16 months ago when the west began cutting trade with Russia, I thought the world was moving to 2 trade blocks, west and the rest. The rest has good reason to cut trade ties even if the transition has costs, but it’s the west that’s lunging to erect a new iron curtain with great vigor. What’s odd is the rest has 85% of world pop , most raw materials, and large trade surpluses with west.
    As trade shrinks west prices will rise. Energy is a good example. Eu had far higher prices last winter, saved by warm weather. Next winter? And self sufficient us not immune, last winter nat gas jumped 3x as we made great profits exporting to eu. Good times. But they had full russ imports 1h22, almost none now. Plus, us fields are playing out – we developed our fields first. You frack when the easy oil.gas is mostly gone and prices rise enough, but fracked wells begin declining in first quarter, generally play out in 2 years. And best resources are developed first. Imo inflation here to stay as imports become unaffordable. 1.1T us trade deficit gonna shrink.
    Eu not remembering that Henry, with all his faults, pointed out, ‘… to be a friend of the us is fatal’. Or perhaps their income depends on not remembering.
    80% energy subsidies to business in Germany is not sustainable, it means cutting the eu safety net. And this also means bus can afford to compete with households for limited imports; no free lunch. Aside from restrictions on eu gov spending, u can’t print energy or other raw materials.
    70%+ and rising unhappiness with gov means election can change policies in a moment… unless they outlaw opposition, as in ukr.

  8. Mikel

    “…Meanwhile, President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen has been touting the bloc’s Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA), which aims for the EU to process 40 percent of the strategic raw materials it uses by 2030. The NZIA would allow projects to bypass many environmental and social impact reviews.…”

    ‘Cause whem it’s all about tallying up the Jackpot, social impact doesn’t matter.

    “…Instead, the final document says that the government will seek to “raise awareness” and “intensify exchanges” but “expects” that companies manage risk by themselves.

    Whether the majority of German companies — which invested a new record sum of €11.5 billion in China last year — will really do so on their own is questionable, though…”

    That part at the beginning…as if the public won’t continue to do their part in the “privatize the profits, socialize the losses” global order.

  9. N Light N

    RE: The strategy is clear, though, that an EU investment agreement with China — which had been pushed forward by former Chancellor Angela Merkel but has been put on ice for the past two years — “cannot take place at present for various reasons.”

    The EU investment agreement can’t take place because Germany’s imperious-master (U.S.) has demanded that it be put on ice.

    The west, through decades of lies and irrational-incompetent leadership, has painted itself into a corner. It can’t compete on a level playing field with the east. If you can’t compete with the competition, and insist on maintaining dominance, the only course-of-action (other than sane negotiation, cooperation, and goodwill) is to crush the competition – after all, the United States is the destroyer of nations. All the west has left is its propaganda, subterfuge, and belligerence. Unless cooler heads prevail, we are snowballing to calamity – be there in about 15-minutes.

  10. Candide

    The logic trap NATO offers goes like this:
    “The PRC employs a broad range of … tools to increase its global footprint and project power, while remaining opaque about its strategy, intentions and military build-up.”
    The evil intent ascribed to China’s businesslike and essentially cooperative strategies is proven by their refusal to “admit” it.

  11. N Light N

    A once respected and declining superpower (Mafioso) not only resorts to incessant warmongering, but it also directs its vassals to join in its misery, and responsibility-displacement, through the constant dissemination of lies. Annalena Baerbock has now blamed Russia (sound familiar) for a scarcity of affordable vacationing for the German population she feigns concern for (she’s manufacturing hate towards Russia, and distracting from her own failures). How pathetic! She conveniently omitted NATO’s encroachment as a catalyst for Russia’s SMO.

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