The human rights policy spokesman for the Union faction, Michael Brand, has accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz of being too soft on China. “Olaf Scholz is dividing the EU by kowtowing to the communists in China.”

The CDU politician told the “Spiegel”. He described the signals that Scholz sent out with the Chinese participation in a terminal in the port of Hamburg as “strategically dangerous”. “To make oneself even more dependent on the largest dictatorship in the world in view of the truly historic turning point is strategically fatal.”

Brand warned: “The Chancellor’s almost submissive attitude towards China – as before towards (Russia’s President Vladimir) Putin – puts us in conflict with the EU, with the USA and other partners in the West, where 90 percent of our exports go.”

Scholz is expected to make his inaugural visit to Beijing this Friday, accompanied by a business delegation. He will be the first Western leader to visit President Xi Jinping after his re-election as head of the Chinese Communist Party. The trip is burdened by differences in the traffic light coalition over the direction of China policy. Last week, Scholz pushed through the participation of the Chinese state-owned company Cosco in a terminal in the port of Hamburg in the cabinet against the resistance of several ministers from the SPD, Greens and FDP. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) sees critical infrastructure endangered by Chinese involvement.

Brand asked the chancellor to “address the critical issues” during his trip – “and not just behind closed doors”. “We know about brutal internment camps in 2022, we see the situation of the Uyghurs, the Tibetans, also the Christians.”