BERLIN — Germany on Wednesday blasted China for acting against Europe’s interests, “aggressively claiming regional supremacy” in Asia and putting international security at risk.
The criticism, which is part of a 76-page national security strategy Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government has adopted, comes ahead of German-Chinese government consultations in Berlin next Tuesday, set to be led by Scholz and Chinese Premier Li Qiang.
POLITICO reported Tuesday that the German government is keen to downsize the number of ministers participating in the summit to avoid giving allies the impression it’s too welcoming to China.
While repeating the years-old EU policy of describing China as a “partner, competitor and systemic rival,” the German strategy document noted that “the elements of rivalry and competition have increased in recent years.”
“China is trying in various ways to reshape the existing rules-based international order, is increasingly aggressively claiming regional supremacy, and is repeatedly acting in contradiction to our interests and values,” the strategy noted.
“Regional stability and international security are increasingly being put under pressure, and human rights are being disregarded. China is deliberately using its economic power to achieve political goals,” it continued.
However, the document also pointed out that China is a required partner for resolving many global challenges, such as the fight against climate change.
The security strategy, which vows to raise Germany’s defense spending to 2 percent of its economic output — as well as outlining approaches to other challenges like migration, energy security and cybersecurity — was adopted following monthslong delays caused by disagreements in Scholz’s governing coalition.
The government now aims to avoid a repeat with its forthcoming more detailed China strategy, which Berlin hopes to finalize and adopt on July 5.