Xi expresses to Scholz his refusal to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine
Chinaopposes nuclear weapons. The message was passed on to him. The president, Xi Jinping, to his German counterpart, Olaf Scholz , but the recipient of it is Moscow . Both have underlined in their meeting the Beijing-Berlin cooperation in troubled times in an apparent response to those who accuse German diplomacy of prioritizing German interests.
“China rejects the threat of using nuclear weapons” to “avoid a crisis on the Eurasian continent,” Xi said, according to the transcript from the official Xinhua agency. It has also insisted on the necessary stability of food and supplies, both altered by the war in Ukraine . China has repeated its opposition to the conflict and its support for any initiative for dialogue, but the specific reference to nuclear weapons, when many analysts warn of the danger that Russia resorts to them, there will be pleased Brussels and Washington. Both had accused Scholz of breaking common discipline with his trip to China.
The trip marks the return of Chinese diplomacy to normalcy. Scholz is the first G-7 leader to set foot in China in nearly three years of the pandemic. The president and his wife accompanied him before they had to undergo two PCR tests Before flying, they were received by staff in full isolation suits at the Beijing airport, where they were subjected to physical examination. to another test, and waited in the hotel until they received the negative results. It is a protocol compatible with the zero covid policy and more digestible than the long quarantines in use.
The visit also takes up the presidential meetings with a Western leader in a context polarized by the Ukrainian war. She has been made ugly by Washington, frustrated by German disobedience to the hostility she claims towards China. And also from Europe, where the voices calling for an independent defense policy have been silenced in recent months by those who see Beijing as a partner of Moscow. despite all the balances of Chinese diplomacy. Scholzrejected The suggestion of French President, Emmanuel Macron, to jointly visit Beijing to underline the image of European unity. Complaints have also been heard in Germany , from the opposition and the government coalition, who fear that it is advancing in economic dependence on China after the traumatic experience with Russia.
This delicate context explains Scholz's efforts to emphasize that his trip to Beijing does not seek to break the world order but to prop it up. “Now we can talk concretely and directly to the face and respond to the challenges that the world is facing and those of the bilateral relations between Europe and China,” he told Xi. “Destroying political trust is easy, but rebuilding it is difficult and requires efforts from both parties to take care of it,” the Chinese president replied.
Scholz deals with a complicated context. The ravages caused by the growing decoupling with Russia have punished its economy and the closest remedy, and probably the only one, is to strengthen ties with China. The 'realpolitik' explains his trip to Beijing accompanied by seven of the most distinguished businessmenThe country's government to continue propping up commercial ties that come from afar.
The Chinese economic miracle owes a lot to Germany. Its industry, especially automobile, chemical and machinery, allowed a country that was stretching to access cutting-edge technology. The German multinationals, in return, benefited from a market of 1.4 billion inhabitants.Angela Merkel, after the global financial crisis, narrowed synergies with China in twelve visits over 16 years. Nearly half of German industrial companies now depend on China in one way or another to balance their annual balance sheets, according to a recent survey, and Volkswagen sells China here. 40% of its cars.
InGermany, two certainties coexist: that any hope of reviving the national economy with its back turned to China is chimerical and that putting all eggs in one basket leads to disaster. That schizophrenia was left behind. underlined by the recent entry of Chinese capital into a terminal in the port of Hamburg. Scholz pushed The project faced the opposition of half a dozen ministers and was only able to approve it after reducing the percentage of the Chinese company from the agreed 35% to 24% and imposing clauses that excluded its right to veto.