World

Germany upset by China’s embrace of Russia

Germany’s ambassador to China said Beijing’s close ties with Moscow “cast doubt” on its relationship with Europe

Berlin’s ambassador to Beijing said that China’s position on the Ukrainian conflict and its close relations with Russia raise questions about its relationship with Germany and Europe.

Patricia Flor said in an interview with the South China Morning Post on Monday that China has boosted trade with Russia since the beginning of the conflict, while refusing to condemn Moscow’s actions.

For Germans and Europeans, Russian aggression poses an existential threat. This is a nuclear power next to us that just invaded its neighbor. “It really shook people up,” Flor told the news outlet. “The situation casts doubt on China’s relations with Germany and Europe.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited China in April and met with President Xi Jinping, who outlined four principles to prevent escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. Among them was for the West to stop “Adding fuel to the fire” Which he said would lay the foundation for peace.

Germany, a member of NATO, has emerged as the main supplier of military equipment and weapons to Kiev, and has also trained Ukrainian soldiers. In 2022 and 2023, Berlin spent about 6.6 billion euros ($7.13 billion) on military aid to the country, according to government data.

Beijing insists it remains neutral in the Ukrainian conflict, and has repeatedly called for the crisis to be settled through negotiations.

Economic relations between China and Russia are also ‘Extremely worrying’ To Germany, Flor said, referring to the alleged supply of dual-use goods and components from China to Russia. Western countries claim that the goods can be used by the Russian army. The United States said in April that it was prepared to impose secondary sanctions on Beijing over its alleged support for the Russian defense industry.

China has denied selling weapons to Russia. In April, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning insisted that China “The export of dual-use items is regulated in accordance with laws and regulations.” He urged “concerned countries” no “Distorting or attacking the normal relations between China and Russia.”

After the imposition of sanctions against Russia by the United States, the European Union and their allies, Russia redirected its trade flows to the Asia-Pacific market, primarily to China. Trade between the two countries will reach an all-time high of $240 billion in 2023.

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