Olaf Scholz meets Xi Jinping in China

World Tuesday 16/April/2024 14:42 PM
By: DW
Olaf Scholz meets Xi Jinping in China

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he wants to work with the Chinese leadership to improve conditions for German companies in the world's second-largest economy.

"They need the right framework conditions," Scholz said in the run-up to a meeting with China's Premier Li Qiang.

"By this, we mean equal market access and fair competitive conditions, the protection of intellectual property and a reliable legal system."

German delegation says talks were 'good'

DW correspondent Michaela Kuefner, who is traveling with Chancellor Olaf Scholz's team in China, says the meeting with President Xi Jinping is over.

Kuefner said the delegation didn't give much away, simply saying that the talks had been "good."

After the meeting, the two men strolled in the grounds of the Diaoyutai state guesthouse, a sprawling complex of villas, lakes and gardens. 

Scholz warns Ukraine war risks international order

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has warned that the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine risks damaging the "entire international order."

Scholz said the war and "Russia's rearmament" violated "a principle of the United Nations Charter, the principle of the inviolability of state borders."

The comments came at the beginning of his meeting with Xi. Scholz also spoke about how important it was that China and Germany cooperate on climate change action.

Germany's chancellor spoke of the danger posed by nuclear escalation as well. "It is clear, we both made it clear at our last meetings here in Beijing, that the use of nuclear weapons should not even be threatened," he said.

"I would like to discuss with you today how we can contribute more to a just peace in Ukraine."

Ahead of Scholz's visit, Washington accused China of massively supporting the Russian arms sector.

Germany, China to discuss 'just peace' in Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday he would discuss peace in Ukraine with Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting in Beijing.

"My meeting with President Xi will also focus on how we can contribute more to a just peace in Ukraine," Scholz said on social media platform X, adding that this follows "intensive exchanges" between their governments.

Western countries have sought to isolate Russia since it launched an all-out invasion of its neighbor in February 2022. However, despite remaining outwardly neutral, Beijing has remained the Kremlin's most important ally.

 Xi tells Scholz to seek 'common ground'

Chinese President Xi Jinping says bilateral ties with Germany will develop steadily provided that both states respect one another's differences and that they seek "common ground."

"We must view and develop bilateral relations in an all-round way from a long-term and strategic perspective," Xi told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

The German chancellor is on a three-day visit to China — his first trip there since Berlin launched a "de-risking" strategy last year aimed at stopping Germany from being too closely linked to the world's second-largest economy.

"As long as both sides adhere to mutual respect, seek common ground while reserving differences, communicate and learn from each other, and achieve win-win co-operation, relations between the two countries will continue to develop steadily," Xi told Scholz.

Scholz on Monday said competition between China and Germany needed to be fair, warning the Chinese leadership against taking a protectionist stance in the auto industry.

Why is Scholz in China?

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is wrapping up athree-day trip to China todaywith a meeting with Chinese leader Xi and Premier Li Qiang in Beijing.

Scholz has been traveling with top executives from Germany as he seeks to strike a balance in relations with China. German companies have been pressing for what they characterise as fairer access to the Chinese market. Europe has been worried about a glut of Chinese goods flooding the European market.

Scholz's visit comes after Berlin drew up a China strategy last yearthat aims to reduce economic exposure to the Asian powerhouse. The strategy has been vague on specific measures or binding targets, but Scholz has already raised the issue of fair competition while speaking with students at Tongji University in Shanghai on Monday.

He said Chinese cars were welcome on the German market so long as competition was "fair." "In other words, that there is no dumping, that there is no overproduction, that copyrights are not infringed," Scholz told students.

He called for China to establish a level playing field for trade. The German government and German businesses are also wary of any potential future conflict over Taiwan.