The Federal Republic of Germany and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations in 1972. Like all other EU partners, Germany adheres to a One-China policy and does not maintain relations with Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory. Since 1972, German-Chinese relations have become very close-knit and multi-faceted while acquiring ever greater political substance. China was once again Germany’s most important trading partner in 2018, with a volume of trade of almost 200 billion euros. In the face of growing uncertainties, international crises and global challenges, great importance is attached to cooperation and coordination under the comprehensive strategic partnership between the Germany and China. China views Germany both economically and politically as its key partner in Europe. The regular high-level coordination of policy in some 80 dialogue mechanisms, dynamic trade relations, investment, environmental cooperation and cooperation in the cultural and scientific sectors are key elements in bilateral relations.
Although bilateral relations are developing positively overall, fundamental differences remain. This is true in particular with regard to human rights, above all individual freedoms. Germany remains keen to see China continue to make economic progress, develop rule of law structures and social security systems, increase political and economic participation, and peacefully resolve minority issues. An important cooperation instrument for promoting the rule of law in China is the rule of law dialogue. Equally important is the annual bilateral human rights dialogue.