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Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock hold a video meeting on May 24, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

China and Germany must cooperate to help stabilise the world against pandemic and economic woes: Wang Yi

  • Chinese and German foreign ministers hold video conference but China’s account of meeting does not mention comments about Xinjiang leak or Ukraine war
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says both countries are beneficiaries of globalisation and noise about decoupling is not in their interest
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Germany’s China policy under the new government should remain pragmatic and should further cooperation that brings “positive expectations” for the countries’ ties.
China and Germany should also strengthen their communication to bring stability to the world as Covid-19 raged and economic recovery remained weak, Wang told German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, according to the Chinese foreign ministry statement about the video conference on Tuesday.

Wang said the two sides should make good use of the government consultation mechanism to improve bilateral relations.


UN human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet arrives in China for Xinjiang visit

UN human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet arrives in China for Xinjiang visit
The relatively new German government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz has described China as a “systemic rival” and has been more vocal in making its concerns over China’s human rights record known, mainly from Scholz’s coalition partners.

“China and Germany are both beneficiaries of and contributors to globalisation, and noise about decoupling is not in the interests of both sides and countries,” Wang was quoted as saying.

Wang also repeated China’s push for a world order based on the United Nations system and international law, a veiled reference to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Global Security Initiative that targets what China sees as the West’s unilateral sanctions in the Ukraine war.

China would not be absent in matters of international concern, Wang said, reiterating China’s position that countries should push for a ceasefire in Ukraine.

Germany’s Scholz visits Japan, not China, on first Asia trip

Baerbock said international cooperation was important but it “must be based on the fundamental norms of the international order, which must be respected and defended by all”, according to the statement of the meeting from the German foreign office.

“Germany strongly appeals to all members of the international community to condemn Russia’s illegal war of aggression and to assume their responsibility to uphold international law and to protect the UN Charter,” she was quoted as saying.

Baerbock’s description of the Ukraine war is missing from the Chinese statement.


China does not label Russia’s attack on Ukraine since February 24 an “invasion” and has refused to condemn or take part in sanctioning Russia, saying sanctions would not contribute to peace talks.


Sanctions on Russia will dampen global economy, Xi tells French and German leaders

Sanctions on Russia will dampen global economy, Xi tells French and German leaders
Also missing from the Chinese statement on the meeting were Baerbock’s comments on Xinjiang. She called for a transparent investigation into new reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang, which she described as “shocking”.
Thousands of alleged police documents and photos appearing to show how China interned Uygurs and members of other ethnic minority groups were made public by scholar Adrian Zenz on Tuesday.

Xi tells Scholz Europe’s security ‘should be kept in the hands of Europeans’

The new German government has yet to show clearly how it would deal with a more assertive China. Scholz, of the Social Democratic Party, is facing increasing pressure domestically and in Europe to tackle China’s human rights issues while maintaining a strong economic relationship.


His coalition partners, the Greens and the Free Democratic Party, have urged him to take a tougher line on a range of Beijing’s policies, including those on Taiwan.

China’s banning of exports from Lithuania, an EU member state, also increased pressure for Berlin. Lithuania’s ties with China nosedived after Taipei opened a de facto embassy in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, using the name “Taiwan” instead of “Taipei” as is usual practice to avoid referencing the self-ruled island, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.