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Top German CEOs Argue, Cooperation with China Is in Germany’s Genuine Interest

Nov. 10, 2022 (EIRNS)—Eight CEOs of big German companies who accompanied Chancellor Olaf Scholz to China on Nov. 4, issued a joint statement, which appeared in today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. They defend their cooperation with the Chinese as being in Germany’s genuine interest; while a pullout, as demanded by adversaries, would “cut us off” from industrial development perspectives.

It opens with an acknowledgment: “The intensity of the public discussion surrounding Chancellor Scholz’s trip to China has shown how important the shaping of German-Chinese relations is for Germany. This exchange is good, because it ensures that a broad spectrum of views will flow into the creation of the German government’s new China strategy.” However:

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Germany and China. During this time, bilateral relations have been characterized by ever closer cooperation between the two countries, to their mutual benefit. China has achieved enormous growth, brought 800 million people out of poverty into a modern middle class, and is now the world’s second largest economy.”

They state that, while there are differing views on both sides of issues such as Taiwan and Xinjiang, these have to be handled by dialogue. They point to a practical reality—the diversification of imports in crucial areas such as semiconductors, batteries, raw materials, and rare earths—and, at the same time, endorse the intensifying of cooperation with China as being “in the genuine interest of Germany to use the dynamic in China as before, as growth-impulses in, and strengthening of, Europe. Both countries, because of their economic strength today, are central players in the network of global trade. This implies “the opening of new chances for Germany, Europe and China in cooperation, in defining common projects being in our shared interest.” Working together, more can be achieved than in working against each other, the statement says.

The eight CEOs are: Martin Brudermüller (BASF), Roland Busch (Siemens), Belen Garijo (Merck), Stefan Hartung (Robert Bosch, Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller (Trumpf), Jan Rinnert (Heraeus), Klaus Rosenfeld (Schaeffler) and Angela Titzrath (Hamburg Port and Logistics).

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