Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo

Cina. La visita di Frau Merkel. È stata ricevuta da Mr Li Keqiang, non da Mr Xi.

Sandro Mela.

2019-09-07.

2019-09-06__Merkel__Pechino__001

Frau Merkel è in visita in Cina.

Ma a riceverla ed a parlarle è stato Mr Li Keqiang, Primo Ministro cinese. Con il Segretario Generale Xi Jinping Frau Merkel ha avuto solo un breve incontro durante una colazione di lavoro.

La posizione di Frau Merkel è ambigua, e di questo Pechino se ne rende perfettamente conto.

Cerchiamo di riassumere, anche se gli argomenti sarebbero molti.

«The protracted trade dispute between the US and China is affecting other countries as well, Merkel has told the Chinese premier. The German chancellor also stressed that a peaceful solution is needed for Hong Kong»

«At the start of her meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the ongoing trade spat between China and the US, and the ensuing tit for tat tariffs, has had an adverse effect on other countries as well»

«The German economy is on the brink of recession after contracting in the second quarter of the year due to weakened exports»

«At the same time, the Chinese economy is growing at the slowest pace in almost three decades, as it reels from US tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods»

«Over the past year, Germany and the European Union have both tightened their rules for screening foreign investment, leading to accusations of protectionism by Beijing»

«Trade between Germany and China stood at around €199 billion ($218 billion) in 2018. China has been Germany’s biggest trading partner for the past three years»

«She is meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping for dinner before continuing on to Wuhan on Saturday to meet with business representatives and students from Huazhong University»

«But increasingly China is seen not only as Germany’s most important trade partner but also as an economic rival. At the beginning of the year, the Association of German Industry warned of systematic competition with China’s economic model. Fear of an economic downturn could affect Germany’s efforts to improve trade relations with China»

«Some EU member countries, such as Greece, have already agreed to cooperate in the project. There are fears that through this initiative China will increase not only its economic influence in the region but also its political sway.»

«While the EU Commission describes China as a “systemic rival,” Germany and China prefer to label each other as “global economic partners.” Alongside regular German-Sino consultations, the two sides held their first-ever joint military drill in Bavaria in July. Still, the ambivalent nature of their relationship remains a cause for concern both at home and abroad.»

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«Besides trade, human rights and the current protests in Hong Kong  also feature prominently on her agenda»

«Merkel said she discussed Hong Kong with Premier Li and that there needed to be a peaceful solution for the city»

«”I indicated during the talks that the rights and freedoms agreed upon in Hong Kong’s Basic Law should be safeguarded,” she said.»

«But relations with the People’s Republic are more complex than ever before, with Merkel under pressure to confront China over the controversy surrounding Chinese involvement in Hong Kong and Xinjiang»

«Shortly before Merkel’s visit, she received a plea for help in an open letter from Joshua Wong, a leader of the protest movement in Hong Kong»

«During her last visit to China, Merkel managed to help secure the safe passage of Liu Xia, widow of the late dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo»

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In sintesi, facendosi portavoce delle opposizioni al Governo cinese – Liu Xiaobo, questione di Hong Kong, ed islamici cinesi – Frau Merkel ha assunto in passato ed anche oggi posizioni non gradite a Pechino. Per simili evenienza, ricordiamo come Mr Macron abbia ritirato l’Ambasciatore da Roma.

Similmente, Pechino trova grandi difficoltà a comprendere come la Germania di Frau Merkel si posizioni nella diatriba in corso su valute e dazi con gli Stati Uniti.

Se è vero che l’interscambio tra Cina e Germania si aggira attorno ai 218 miliardi di dollari americani, sarebbe altrettanto vero ricordare come l’import cinese dalla Germania non sia per essa strategico.

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Non è solo problema di rapporti tra governi, ma anche tra popoli.

Basterebbe ricordare la presa di posizione cinese alla gaffe di Versace.

Polemica per t-shirt Versace in Cina, scuse dell’azienda

«I media cinesi hanno denunciato che su una t-shirt venduta da Versace nel Paese apparivano nomi di città con la nazione di appartenenza sbagliata, in particolare non venivano elencate Hong Kong e Macao come parte della Cina. Sui social Versace è stata accusata di attentare alla sovranità nazionale. “Mi dispiace profondamente per lo sfortunato errore – scrive Donatella Versace su Fb -. Non ho mai voluto mancare di rispetto alla sovranità Nazionale della Cina”.»

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«Over the past year, Germany and the European Union have both tightened their rules for screening foreign investment, leading to accusations of protectionism by Beijing»

Andando al sodo, i cinesi gradirebbero che Frau Merkel si facesse gli affari suoi, senza ingerirsi negli affari interni cinesi: tutti sono utili ma nessuno è inidpsensabile. Il messaggio dovrebbe essere ben chiaro.


Angela Merkel in China: A trip fraught with difficulties

The German chancellor is a regular visitor to China. But amid economic and political unrest, her upcoming talks with the Chinese leadership are expected to be far from straightforward.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was welcomed with military honors in China on Friday with a business delegation in tow, hoping to secure an economic agreement. During the state visit, in addition to conferences with China’s political leadership, Merkel also has meetings planned with Chinese students.

But relations with the People’s Republic are more complex than ever before, with Merkel under pressure to confront China over the controversy surrounding Chinese involvement in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

Human rights: Hong Kong

Shortly before Merkel’s visit, she received a plea for help in an open letter from Joshua Wong, a leader of the protest movement in Hong Kong. There are notable, but isolated cases, where Germany got involved in human rights issues in China. During her last visit to China, Merkel managed to help secure the safe passage of Liu Xia, widow of the late dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. 

The German foreign minister has also been critical of China’s actions in the western province of Xinjiang, where an estimated one million Muslim Uyghurs have been detained against their will. But discussions with Chinese authorities about human rights abuses are becoming more difficult and infrequent.

Threat of an economic slump

“China is a strategic partner, but also a competitor,” Merkel said of their relationship. China is Germany’s largest import market and, after the USA and France, and also its most important export market. In 2018 the two countries traded goods worth almost €200 billion ($221 billion).

But increasingly China is seen not only as Germany’s most important trade partner but also as an economic rival. At the beginning of the year, the Association of German Industry warned of systematic competition with China’s economic model. Fear of an economic downturn could affect Germany’s efforts to improve trade relations with China.

China’s new global infrastructure project, the so-called Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is their attempt to build trade relations with Africa and Europe. Some EU member countries, such as Greece, have already agreed to cooperate in the project. There are fears that through this initiative China will increase not only its economic influence in the region but also its political sway.

Concerns are also mounting that the ongoing trade dispute between the USA and China could negatively affect Germany’s relations with both countries. Following the US’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, China has offered economic incentives to Iran to come back into the agreement. Donald Trump has put pressure on Germany to act as a mediator between China, Iran and the US. Security concerns surrounding Chinese production of Huawei 5G technology is a further point of tension about which, for now, Germany remains ambivalent.

‘Systemic rivals’

The visit would likely be billed as a success if Merkel manages to secure Chinese confirmation of participation in the planned trade agreement between the EU and China. To that end, Berlin wants to arrange an EU-China summit in Germany during its EU presidency in 2020. 

While the EU Commission describes China as a “systemic rival,” Germany and China prefer to label each other as “global economic partners.” Alongside regular German-Sino consultations, the two sides held their first-ever joint military drill in Bavaria in July. Still, the ambivalent nature of their relationship remains a cause for concern both at home and abroad.

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Angela Merkel calls for peaceful resolution in Hong Kong

The protracted trade dispute between the US and China is affecting other countries as well, Merkel has told the Chinese premier. The German chancellor also stressed that a peaceful solution is needed for Hong Kong.

At the start of her meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the ongoing trade spat between China and the US, and the ensuing tit for tat tariffs, has had an adverse effect on other countries as well.

The German economy is on the brink of recession after contracting in the second quarter of the year due to weakened exports. At the same time, the Chinese economy is growing at the slowest pace in almost three decades, as it reels from US tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods.

Merkel, who is leading a large business delegation to Beijing, also said she hoped an EU-China investment agreement would be finalized soon. This is Merkel’s 12th visit to China as chancellor. 

Besides trade, human rights and the current protests in Hong Kong  also feature prominently on her agenda. 

Merkel said she discussed Hong Kong with Premier Li and that there needed to be a peaceful solution for the city. “I indicated during the talks that the rights and freedoms agreed upon in Hong Kong’s Basic Law should be safeguarded,” she said. 

Li said Beijing wanted to prevent unrest in the former British colony, which has been convulsed by protests in the past few weeks.

Investment issues

Over the past year, Germany and the European Union have both tightened their rules for screening foreign investment, leading to accusations of protectionism by Beijing. 

An EU-China investment deal would remove some of the hurdles and is sought by both Europe and China.

China hopes Germany will accept more Chinese companies and loosen export rules for certain goods, said Chinese Premier Li. He also stressed that China will open up its economy even more.

Merkel said Germany is open for Chinese investment and welcomed all Chinese firms to invest in the country. But the chancellor said Berlin scrutinizes investments in certain strategic sectors and critical infrastructure.

Trade between Germany and China stood at around €199 billion ($218 billion) in 2018. China has been Germany’s biggest trading partner for the past three years. 

Merkel and Li signed a total of 11 agreements to expand cooperation in areas such as aviation, automotive, clean energy, finance and education.

Talking human rights

Earlier on Friday, Merkel was received with military honors by Li at the Great Hall of the People. The two leaders sat during the ceremony after Merkel earlier this year experienced repeated bouts of shaking in similar instances. Li stood during the Chinese anthem. 

Later in the day, Merkel is set to take part in talks at the China-Germany Economic Advisory Committee, a platform for business leaders and politicians.

She is meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping for dinner before continuing on to Wuhan on Saturday to meet with business representatives and students from Huazhong University. 

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