Berlin's China measures reflect Cold War mentality: Chinese Ambassador
China's ambassador to Germany says Berlin's new measure could put the relations between the two countries at risk.
Plans for Germany's tougher China strategy reflect a Cold War mentality that could endanger the cooperation between the second and fourth largest economies of the world, China's ambassador to Berlin was quoted as saying.
Wu Ken told Handelsblatt that what he is reading in the media and hearing from conversations "is very disconcerting" and looks like "it is guided primarily by ideology" and "not based on the common interests of Germany and China."
Berlin is working on a new strategy regarding its relations with China and with proclaimed goals to lessen "its dependence on Asia's economic superpower."
Read more: Leaked German draft of new China protectionist strategy raises concern
"As far as I know, the paper exaggerates competition and confrontation between our two countries in a way that has nothing to do with reality. I'm also hearing that certain values and human rights are to be a prerequisite for cooperation in the future," Ken said, emphasizing the obstacles that would be created between the two countries if this happens.
"Moreover, according to the draft at least, Germany wants to coordinate its China policy more closely in future with 'like-minded' allies such as the U.S. This suggests that the German government is forfeiting its independence and is instead following the U.S. completely in matters of China policy."
According to the ministry's "Internal Guidelines on China" seen by Reuters last month, the planned strategies involve requirements for German companies that are particularly exposed to China to share details on that business with the government and conduct regular stress tests.
"In doing so, the German government is ultimately contradicting itself. After all, it has always emphasized that it is not aiming for a confrontation between different camps. To me, this smells suspiciously of a Cold War mentality," Ken said.
It is worth noting that in November, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that his country will not make the same mistake with China that it did with Russia adding that Germany is already bringing variety to its trade.
Read: EU not looking for 'systematic confrontation' with China
Scholz's statement came during an address at an economic forum organized by Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and after representatives of German industry criticized a leaked document discussing the country's new China policy stating the need for increased political support for diversified trade with other countries.
The document pushes in favor of creating stronger trade ties with other countries and increased control over trade with China.