The Chancellor’s trip, which has been sharply criticized, is intended to explore opportunities for cooperation with China.

SPD foreign policy expert Nils Schmid defended Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s (SPD) trip to China against criticism. With his planned third term in office, China’s President Xi Jinping will “continue to significantly shape future Chinese politics – whether we like it or not,” Schmid told the AFP news agency. “Therefore, there is no way around talks with the Chinese government.”

The chancellor’s visit was of an “exploratory nature,” said the foreign policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group. It is important to “find out to what extent cooperation with China is possible in fields that are important for both sides”. This applies “primarily to climate protection”.

Scholz will also use the visit “to clearly address the sore points,” said the SPD foreign expert. It is about “the human rights situation, questions of regional security and fair competitive conditions”.

There are “massive changes in the Chinese political system, which our China strategy already takes into account,” emphasized Schmid. “It is clear that we will not completely decouple ourselves, but that China is also a competitor and increasingly a systemic rival.”