Germany’s new Chancellor Olaf Scholz has pitched a less tolerant government with China on December 15th.
Delivering an inaugural address to parliament, Scholz, who was sworn in on December 8th, stated that Germany would not close their eyes to human rights abuses in China.
He said, “we must orient our China policy toward the China that we find in reality.”
His remarks appeared to show some improvements in attitudes about China’s genocide practices compared to his predecessor, but he nonetheless toned down when speaking of China’s economic influence over Germany.
The new Chancellor said confronting China with human rights abuses “doesn’t change the fact that a country of China’s size and history has a central place.”
He continued to offer cooperation with the Communist government on “humanity” issues, such as climate change, pandemics, and arms control.
Political analyst Thomas O Falk viewed that it indicated Olaf Scholz might not be too different from his predecessor Angela Merkel, who during her 16 years of leadership was criticized for bowing down to China.
Falk wrote in an op-ed on South China Morning Post that Scholz’s comments showed he was “reluctant to follow Washington’s appeal for a united front against Beijing.”