Governance

German Chancellor’s party warns of breakdown in China ties over Taiwan

Germany’s co-ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) warned Wednesday of a breakdown of the relationship with China if it attacks Taiwan.

SPD leader Lars Klingbeil said Germany could be forced to make a similar break with China as it did with Russia.

"We have to realize that tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in 10 years time, the time may come when China crosses borders," Klingbeil told the DIE ZEIT newspaper. "If China attacks Taiwan, our relationship with China will also change fundamentally, as is the case with Russia now.”

Klingbeil urged Germany to become more independent of China, open up other markets and find partners to trade raw materials.

"That is the great lesson from our relationship with Russia," said Klingbeil.

German-China ties have soured because of a recent visit by a German parliamentary delegation to Taiwan.

Beijing criticized the trip and urged MPs “not to send wrong signals” to separatist forces.

“The German side is not allowed to have any official contacts with Taiwan, and that also applies to German parliamentarians. This principle is part of the One China policy,” said a statement by the Chinese Embassy in Berlin.

The embassy criticized statements by Free Democratic Party (FDP) lawmakers ahead of the visit and stressed that China will continue to oppose efforts to undermine its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Beijing views Taiwan as “an inseparable part of Chinese territory” and has strongly urged other nations to avoid direct relations with Taipei.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a change of strategy toward China on Nov. 2, hours before his first-ever visit to Beijing since taking office a year ago.

In an article for the Frankfurt-based Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, Scholz said the recent outcome of the Chinese Communist Party Congress had convinced him that a change of policy was necessary.

Scholz’s center-left coalition government has branded China a “systemic rival” and highlighted the need for Germany to diversify politically and especially economically by focusing on relationships with other Indo-Pacific countries like India, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam.

It also aims to press Beijing to level the playing field for German and European companies doing business in China.

Germany’s Economic Affairs Ministry is working on reducing its dependency on China for raw materials, batteries and semiconductors.

Furthermore, it is also reassessing the investment and export guarantees it provides to German firms doing business in China.

Source: Anadolu Agency