Finian Cunningham 23rd Sept
Not content with committing its nation to economic suicide from deteriorating Russian relations, the German government now wants to bury the corpse by sabotaging trade relations with China.
Robert Habeck, Germany’s trade minister, has riled Beijing by telling a G7 summit last week that Berlin was aiming to adopt a new China policy to “reduce economic dependency”. Habeck said Germany would strive to take tougher controls over Chinese foreign investment and move away from German reliance on China for key commodities such as semiconductors, batteries and other electronics.
Sounding tough in front of other Western members of the G7 forum (a redundant elite club if ever there was one), Habeck said, “the naivety towards China is over”. He said that trade relations would no longer be viewed in isolation from alleged human rights violations and other international concerns, presumably meaning China’s alleged hostility towards Taiwan.
Beijing slammed Habeck’s remarks and retorted that he was the one who is being “naive” in seeking to damage mutually beneficial bilateral relations.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz doubled down on the provocation at the weekend when he was asked about China’s position on Taiwan. Scholz implied that Beijing was the hostile party in recent tensions over the breakaway island territory. He cautioned China: “It is important that we ban violence from international relations.”
It was another red flag being waved by Berlin in China’s face. Scholz doesn’t seem to realize, or doesn’t want to realize, that Taiwan is a sovereign part of China. That is the legal fact of treaties at the United Nations and the internationally accepted One China Policy. It is the United States, Britain, Australia, France and Germany that are increasingly deploying military forces in China’s territorial waters that are causing dangerous tensions and obliging Beijing to take a tougher position on defending its sovereignty, including its rightful claims over Taiwan.
What are the German leaders playing at? The recklessness of their stance and the damage being inflicted on the nation’s economy make you wonder whose interests are they serving. Certainly, it would seem, not the interests of the German population.
Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, is crashing headfirst from its insane sabotage of energy trade with Russia. It reminds you of those slow-motion car crash tests where dummies are flung into the windscreen. Now it’s heading for a Chinese wall.
The self-imposed cutting off of gas supply from Russia is wrecking German industry and plunging the population into a winter of misery of untold poverty and hardship. Many observers including Russian President Vladimir Putin are baffled by the willful embrace of economic suicide that the German government is rushing into.
For decades, the German export-led economy has been driven by a copious supply of low-priced Russian natural gas and oil. The coalition government in Berlin, which took over from Angela Merkel’s administration at the end of last year, has cut off links with Moscow as part of its support for Washington’s policy to isolate Russia. Germany has gone all in to support the U.S.-backed Kiev regime with heavy weapons supplied to Ukraine in a war with Russia.
So much for Scholz’s admonition to China to “ban the use of violence in international relations”. Berlin is fueling the conflict in Ukraine and along with the U.S. and other NATO powers is preventing any diplomatic process to find a peaceful resolution with Russia.
If the death blow to the German economy was not bad enough from the reckless policy toward Russia, now Berlin wants to kill relations with Beijing.
China is Germany’s top trading partner for the past six years. Bilateral trade has grown steadily. This year’s commerce is heading to surpass the 2021 record high of over $240 billion in Chinese-German trade.
With its 1.4 billion population, China is a vital market for Germany’s exporters, especially the all-important auto industry that drives the German economy. Nearly 40 percent of global sales for Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mercedes are in China, spurred by the latter’s phenomenal economic development.
The Berlin government is putting its economic lifeline with China at risk by adopting a policy of wantonly provoking Beijing. In this, the German “leaders” are following Washington’s bidding. They have done this with regard to sabotaging Russian relations. Now they are bent on repeating the folly toward China.
It is notable that Habeck, the German trade minister, is a member of the Greens in the coalition government with Scholz’s Social Democrats. The other senior Green in the coalition is Annalena Baerbock who is the foreign minister. Both of them are pushing an irrational ideological position of damaging Russian and Chinese relations. The Greens want to convert Germany to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. That’s how they justify doing away with Russian hydrocarbons. But the calculation is woefully misplaced. German industries and the wider population need Russian gas to run their factories and heat their homes. The folly of cutting off Russian energy is backfiring big time. The absurdity is that Germany is now going back to dirty fuel from coal in order to desperately fill the power vacuum that has been self-inflicted by Green ideologues.
More than Green ideology, however, is the real underlying ideology of Russophobia and Sinophobia. Habeck and Baerbock are blinded by their subservience to Washington’s transatlantic agenda of dividing Europe from having normal neighborly relations with Russia and China.
Washington’s agenda is to promote U.S. hegemony and its presumed unipolar dominance in international relations. In short, American imperialism.
An extension of that agenda is to incite antagonism toward China. The encirclement of Russia goes hand in hand with the encirclement of China. It is no coincidence that as Washington escalates tensions with Moscow over Ukraine and NATO encroachment, it is also feverishly inciting tensions with China over Taiwan and dubious allegations of human rights violations by Beijing.
U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration and Congress are pumping weapons into Ukraine and Taiwan in a deliberate and one could say criminal bid to provoke military confrontation. The U.S. capitalist economy needs tensions and conflict to sustain its military-industrial complex, the beating heart of American capitalism.
If Germany’s Chancellor Scholz had any independence of thought, he would be better to remonstrate with Washington over the use of violence in international relations.
But there is no chance of Scholz and his government ever doing that. They are lackeys for Washington and are hopelessly brainwashed with ideological nonsense, Russophobia and Sinophobia.
This winter is already coming with dread for Germany and the wider European population over the policy choice to trash the cornerstone of Russian energy relations. With the further damage to German-Chinese relations, the Berlin political elite are shooting Germany and Europe in the head – twice.
German industries, businesses and workers are incensed by the stupidity of their so-called government which is more accurately described as a Washington-backed regime in Berlin. Angry protests on the streets witnessed in recent weeks in Germany and elsewhere across Europe against self-inflicted economic misery are but a foretaste of the explosive social unrest brewing.