A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Germany on Dec. 2 urged German politicians to have an objective and comprehensive view of China instead of opposition.
The spokesman suggested that China-German cooperation will be built on respect for mutual interests between the two sides, calling for a “bridge” to be established, not a “wall,” VOA Chinese reported.
The comments were made several days after the new German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, said that she would adopt a strict policy against Beijing and even restrict imports of Chinese goods.
“Eloquent silence is not a form of diplomacy in the long run, even if it has been seen that way by some in recent years,” she said, per DW. “For me, a value-based foreign policy is always an interplay of dialogue and toughness.”
Baerbock admitted that dialogue is indeed a major component of international politics, “but this does not mean that you have to ignore certain things or remain silent.”
DW suggested that she was insinuating China’s notorious abuse of human rights, citing allegedly one million Uyghur people who were forced into detention camps and suffered torture.
Uyghurs are also one among many other groups targeted by the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide practices. It also aims at other groups such as Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetan Buddhist disciples, Christians, and Hong Kong protesters.
Baerbock reminded that restricting imported materials from China would be an effective tool to put pressure on the second world ranking economy. This should be an influential strategy against China, the big exporter.
“For me, a value-based foreign policy is always an interplay of dialogue and toughness,” she said.
“We Europeans should make good use of the leverage of the common market,” said Baerbock.
Beijing responded by appealing for German officials to value the China-Germany relationship as “objectively and holistically.”
“Our differences and divergences today are by no means greater than they were 50 years ago,” the Chinese Embassy in Beijing said on Dec. 3. “Compared to then, our areas of cooperation and overlapping interests are now significantly larger.”
According to a report by Deutsche Welle, the outgoing Angela Merkel administration has often been criticized for putting economic and trade relations with China above human rights concerns in Beijing and even turning a blind eye to China’s human rights violations.
Merkel was the main instigator for the China-EU investment agreement signed last year. She also declared that Europe could not “decouple” from China.
Merkel’s era has officially ended as her successor Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor on Dec. 8.
China’s behavior in recent years has deterred international intentions to maintain normal relations with it. Outside of flagrant human rights abuses on its shore, the Communist regime also proceeds with its ambitious territorial claims in the Indo Pacific and forcefully demanded Taiwan reunification.
This has led to heated calls for stronger anti-Beijing policies in Germany and across Europe.