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German Ambassador to China: Patricia Flor

Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin / ZUMA Wire / IMAGO

A statement by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) about Chinese state and party leader Xi Jinping is making diplomatic waves. As a spokesman for the German Foreign Office confirmed to SPIEGEL on request, the German ambassador in Beijing Patricia Flor was summoned to the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Sunday. This happened after Baerbock gave an interview to the US channel Fox News.

In it, she called Xi a dictator. China reacted with great indignation: Baerbock's remarks were "extremely absurd and a serious violation of China's political dignity and an open political provocation," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning. Beijing is "deeply dissatisfied" and will make diplomatic representations to the German side.

Baerbock spoke about the war in Ukraine in an interview with the right-wing US channel Fox News last week on Thursday during her visit to the US, saying: "If (Russian President Vladimir) Putin were to win this war, what kind of sign would it be for other dictators in the world, like Xi, like the Chinese president? That's why Ukraine has to win this war."