March 26, 2023

East Valley Times

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Chancellor Olaf Scholes’ visit to China reinforces fears about Germany in Europe.

Paris.- German Chancellor’s Controversial China Trip Olaf Scholesexpresses A sharp divide between his country and the rest of the European Union (EU), the weakness of his governing coalition and few improvements in his foreign policy..

All of these doubts arose as a result of efforts by the German government in recent weeks. Within 15 days, diplomats reached a stunning conclusion The Franco-German machine that had driven the EU for more than half a century was beginning to show signs of fatigue. The first warning signs began at the end of September, the German Social Democratic government revealed 200,000 million dollar stimulus plan for the country’s economyIt notified its French partners without alerting them and – to a lesser extent – its other European partners.

To this uncivilized gesture was immediately added disagreement over the best response to the energy crisis that was rocking Europe even before winter began. All those splits ended up revealing it The real reasons for the difference are geopolitical. The chaotic situation was exacerbated by disagreements in Berlin and Paris over the war in Ukraine and how to deal with the Russian leader. Vladimir PutinTo end the conflict and avoid the metastasis of the crisis.

After seven months of fighting, the outbreak in Central Europe accelerated the evolution of power relations within the EU: Central Europe felt increasingly close and protected by the United States, while the Baltic states, such as Finland and Sweden, They are openly critical of France and Germany’s “overly accommodating” approach to the Kremlin.

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The Elysee Palace and the Quai d’Orsay (headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) began to suspect that German skepticism regarding “European security sovereignty projects” promoted by the president was the main reason for the discontent. Emmanuel Macron During the first half of the year, France held the rotating presidency of the European Union. The Berlin government never spoke out against the initiative, but did support it: Scholz also did not support the idea of ​​creating a European fighter (Scaf) or the famous “tank of the future” (Leopard).

Instead, without warning Paris, he unexpectedly launched into an idea Missile shield, based on North American and Israeli technology, should connect 14 European NATO countries. Contested even by German industrialists, this system threatened the development of the Franco-Italian plan and the third from Poland. France refused to support the plan, arguing it “threatens to reactivate the arms race,” Macron’s spokesman explained.

Neither country has adopted a receptive approach A request to join the European Union made by the Western Balkan countries. The idea of ​​creating a European Political Community (CPE) was initiated by Macron, which aimed to turn the CPE into a waiting room and postpone the enlargement of the European Union and neutralize the reconciliation maneuvers initiated by Moscow in the middle. Battle for the support of that Slavic crowd. Enthusiastic about this idea, Germany, on the other hand, will try to restore it to include these countries in a bloc capable of strengthening its own specific weight within Europe and shifting the continent’s center of gravity eastward. favorable to its interests.

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“France and the EU don’t seem to remain among Scholes’ priorities”said Elvoire Fabry of the Jacques Delors Institute.

A very serious problem that arises at this time Scholes’ interest in building a “deeper relationship” with the Beijing regime A week after the Communist Party handed over absolute power to Xi. This approach contrasts with the European position, which recently defined China as a “systemic enemy”.

The current foreign minister’s trip is fueling contradictions that are eroding alliance unity. A few days ago, environmental activist Annalena Berbach warnedThe risks of being “dependent on a country that does not share our values”. This situation could once again put the country in a “politically vulnerable” situation when Putin decides to cut off gas supplies.

For some experts, Scholes’s approach expresses panic about the collapse of the two pillars that supported Berlin’s economic model: Low-cost Russian gas imports guaranteed the competitiveness of its industry and exports to China ensured huge trade surpluses. Currently, Germany’s exports exceed 100,000 million euros.

Auto giants like BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen make 30% to 40% of their sales in China.. But that status is in jeopardy. The first of these columns, however, collapsed with the war in Ukraine, and the second has been compromised by Xi’s turn to ideological orthodoxy, national security, and party control. In the current tense environment with the West, Xi wants to create a geopolitically resilient economy that is less dependent on foreign markets and investment.

Criticized both inside and outside his government, Scholz pledged ahead of his trip not to gloss over “controversies” such as tensions over Taiwan, China’s stance on the war in Ukraine, which Westerners consider to be “controversial” or to stop stirring up issues about Germany. favorable to the Kremlin, as well as “respect for civil and political liberties” and the “rights of ethnic minorities” such as the Uyghurs (Muslims living in the regime-repressed Xinjiang region).

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China is not what it was 10 years ago. He was referring to the recent Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which confirmed Xi’s power. “If China changes, so must our relationship with China”Accurate.

Those comments prompted a reaction from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who issued a stark warning: Beijing, he said, “It opposes interference in its internal affairs and denigration under the pretext of human rights debates”.

Konos The Trust Program