German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged China to pressure Russia to withdraw its soldiers and cease the war in Ukraine.
Scholz’s appeal came following the most recent round of Sino-German government negotiations in Berlin.
“I have pleaded with the Chinese government once more to leverage its influence on Russia stronger in this war,” Scholz said alongside China’s Prime Minister Li Qiang.
Russia must withdraw its troops – Scholz
“Russia must withdraw its troops; otherwise, it will not work,” he said. Scholz also stated that Russia’s war in Ukraine should not become a frozen conflict. Scholz also emphasized China’s role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
The meetings were the first time the German and Chinese administrations had met since the war began.
The German Chancellor briefly touched on other crucial issues, such as press freedom limitations advocating “freedom and openness for journalists as well.” He urged China to allow more space for German journalists to report on the country.
Scholz also addressed the challenging human rights position of Chinese workers, stating that improvements in universal human rights and production circumstances were in both countries best interests.
Scholz’s words prompted no immediate response from China’s Prime Minister. Instead, he hailed the meetings’ “practice-oriented” nature and frequently emphasized China’s desire for a tighter collaboration with Germany.
“China and Germany should work together to promote global peace and development,” Li said.
Germany’s position on China
Berlin issued its first national security policy since World War II this week. The German national strategy recognized that Beijing’s hegemonic ambitions were a threat to global security while looking at China as a competitor and a partner.
Germany’s cautious stance is increasingly different from the EU’s more aggressive tone.
The European Commission’s first-ever economic security doctrine, unveiled on June 20, warned that “over-reliance on any single nation, especially when they have systemically divergent models and interests, reduces Europe’s strategic choices and puts our economies and citizens at risk,” naming China and Russia.
Scholz and Li stressed the significance of collaboration on trade, health, and environmental policy. They also announced the establishment of a climate change conversation and cooperation structure.
Scholz’s administration is keen to keep trade disruptions to a minimum for German businesses, as China is Germany’s largest bilateral trading partner. However, maintaining such a fragile equilibrium in the face of China’s more aggressive foreign policy is a tricky task.