The Social Democratic Party, led by German Chancellor Olaf Schultz, called for reducing the country's dependence on China and benefiting from the experience of abandoning the Russian energy sector after the start of the war in Ukraine.

"We have to realize that tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or after 10 years, or when China crosses its borders to attack Taiwan, our relationship with China will fundamentally change, as is the case with Russia now," party leader Lars Klingbeil told the local newspaper Die Zeit. .

Klingbeil also called on Germany to become "more independent" from China, open up alternative markets and find other partners to trade in raw materials, as a result of the "great lesson learned" from the relationship with Russia.

And last November, the German chancellor announced a change in his country's strategy towards China, just hours before his first visit to Beijing since taking office in 2021.

Schultz wrote an article at the time for the newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", in which he stated that the outcomes of the recent Chinese Communist Party conference convinced him that changing Berlin's policy towards Beijing had become "a necessary matter."

Relations between Germany and China were strained due to the visit of a German parliamentary delegation to Taiwan last October, as Beijing criticized the visit and demanded that German deputies not send false signals to the separatist forces, according to the description of the Chinese embassy in Berlin.

Economic concerns

The German government seeks to put pressure on Beijing to achieve equal opportunities for German and European companies operating in China, and the government is also re-evaluating the investment and export guarantees it provides to German companies operating there.

Moreover, the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy is working to reduce its dependence on China for raw materials, batteries and semiconductors.

According to a study published by the German Trade and Investment Agency, German foreign trade with China suffers from an "escalating imbalance", as Beijing has fallen from second to fourth place in the list of the most important importers of German goods, while China remains the most important exporter to Germany for 7 years.

Despite diversification efforts, Germany's disproportionate dependence on China reminds observers of its previous dependence on Russian energy, as the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations warned that a crisis in Taiwan would lead to political and economic risks to Europe and transatlantic relations due to the involvement of German companies in the market. Chinese.

The US report indicated that Germany's dependence on China "could hinder its ability to respond alongside Western allies" to Beijing's attempts to restore Taiwan by force, including the mechanism of imposing sanctions.

The Council on Foreign Relations considered that Schultz's recent trip to Beijing further complicated the prospects for the common European policy on China.