In an interview with Die Zeit weekly, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner on Wednesday, April 6, said, “My concern is that … we have a strong economic inter-connectedness with China.”
He added, “We need to diversify international relations, including when it comes to our exports.”
According to Xinhua, Beijing is Germany’s largest trading partner. The trade between the two countries reached almost 280 billion dollars in 2021, an increase of 15.1% from the year prior.
Many German industries have moved some of their production to China and therefore import a lot of what they need from China. On the other hand, China is one of the main customers of the German automotive industry, as one in three German cars is sold in the mainland.
Last month, Munich-based Ifo economic institute released a survey showing that 46% of German manufacturers source “key inputs” from China.
According to AFP, the new German government that came to power last December shows the commitment for “dialogue and toughness” in its dealings with China.
The Finance Minister also said in the interview, “Perhaps the time has come when we should preferentially do business with those who are not only trading partners, but also want to be partners in values.”