Reinhard Bütikofer, Foreign Policy Coordinator of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, says on the publication of Germany’s China strategy:
“And yet it moves. After the first German China strategy, originally announced for February, seemed to have disappeared for months, mired in a non-transparent melee between the Chancellery, the Foreign Office and other ministries, it is now seeing the light of the expectant public after all. The strategy confirms what the sparrows have been whistling from the rooftops for a long time: Continuing Chancellor Merkel’s China policy by other means is not an option for Germany in light of the changing reality, no matter how much some board members of large DAX companies and some hesitant politicians may wish it were.
Germany’s China strategy formulates a realistic positioning of German policy vis-à-vis Beijing, identifies the necessary European involvement and addresses the challenges of shared global responsibility.
The China strategy is not the end of the necessary process of reorientation, but its beginning. The de-risking to which it professes to be committed must be filled out with concrete policy. This will not be without contradictions. But we cannot afford to fail to do so, since, as the national security strategy has already noted, competition and systemic rivalry with China are gaining in importance.
Successful engagement with China in cooperation with like-minded partners is not just the business of the political executive and a few corporate headquarters. What is needed is the involvement of society as a whole and an open debate about how and to what extent we are successful in this endeavor. It would therefore be a good idea for the German Bundestag to organize a major China debate every year on a regular basis in the future to give an account of how we have progressed in implementing the goals and measures set out in the China strategy.
One aspect should receive special attention: the European integration of German China policy. Go-it-alone-mentality and selfishness play into China’s hand. Only together are we strong.”