China: Partner, competitor, difficult counterpart

Street in Shanghai

Street in Shanghai, © Federal Foreign Office

12.07.2019 - Article

During his trip to Peking and Shanghai, Minister of State Annen is holding talks on trade policy, arms control and climate change. None of the major international challenges can be tackled without China.

China’s position on the world stage is changing. Now the world’s second-largest economy, the country is gaining ever more international clout. So, without China, it will be impossible to make progress on any of the major international challenges – such as the Iran conflict, arms control or measures to tackle climate change. As a leading export nation, China also has an interest in a reliable, rules-based global trading system, and it is seeking to work with Europe in order to find solutions to the ongoing trade conflicts.

A counterpart at a time of global uncertainty

Niels Annen, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, travelled to China this week for talks on this broad range of issues. The highlight of his political talks in Peking was a meeting with China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng and Deputy Director of the International Department of the Communist Party of China, Guo Yezhou. As well as current international issues and global trade, the talks focused on the human rights situation in the Chinese province Xinjiang.

“For us, China is an indispensable and yet in some areas also difficult partner, as well as a competitor. Above all, at a time of global uncertainty when the world order is under pressure we regard China as an increasingly important interlocutor on all international and global issues.”
(Minister of State Niels Annen)

Minister of State Annen praised the intensive and trusting nature of the talks and called on the Chinese side to take steps to strengthen the international trading system. Specifically, he urged China to quickly follow up on its pledges to support World Trade Organization (WTO) reform.

Deepening Sino-German economic and scientific relations

Minister of State Annen in talks in Shanghai
Minister of State Annen in talks in Shanghai© Federal Foreign Office

On Thursday (11 July), Minister of State Annen travelled on to the trading metropolis Shanghai, where, as well as meeting German and Chinese businesspeople, he also visited Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), to talk about possible moves to deepen Sino-German scientific relations. SISU is regarded as one of the leading universities in China in terms of foreign-language teaching and internationalisation.


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