German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has recently finished his state visit to China. He’s thus the first Western leader to visit Beijing since the COVID outbreak and the first to see Chinese leader Xi Jinping since Xi secured an unprecedented third term as Party chief at the Communist Party’s National Congress last month.

Germany’s China policy is being made now and will be officially launched in the middle of next year. 

A recent poll by Forsa, a polling agency commissioned by the magazine International Politics, shows how the German people feel about the current relationship between Germany and China.

The survey asks one question:

Should Germany be tougher on China, even if it will hurt the economy?

There are three answers from which to choose. And this is the result:

A: Yes. Even if the economies of both countries is negatively affected. 

58% chose this option, the same as last year. So this reflects a consistent sense of German vigilance towards China. The degree of toughness has stayed the same over the year. 

B: Yes. But only if there is no negative impact on the economic relationship between the two countries

8% of people opted for this, compared to 16% last year. It reflects Germans’ willingness to take more economic risks to hold that uncompromising attitude towards China.

And C. Against. 

23% for this year, compared to 19% last year. So about 4% more people are against being tougher on Beijing.

Germany’s attitude is also divided between East and West. While 60% of the West want a tough policy towards China, only 44% in the East think it’s a good idea.

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