In Berlin and Brussels, the BDI report is often cited as a turning point. If even German industry, the biggest proponent of deeper engagement with China, starts to worry about the long-term impact of the strategy, something has to go wrong. At the end of the 19th century, Sino-Chinese foreign trade was dominated by the British Empire and Otto von Bismarck was trying to establish German traces in China to counter British supremacy. In 1885, Bismarck had the Reichstag pass a steamship subsidy law, which provided direct services to China. The same year, he sent the first German banking and industrial investigation group to assess the investment opportunities that led to the creation of the German-Asian Bank in 1890. In 1896, Germany remained in trade in 1896 and put trade and shipping in China second. Relations would continue to improve after 1998. In 2003, Beijing and Berlin strongly opposed the invasion of Iraq, and in 2006, both Germany (the largest economy and the most populous country in the European Union) and China developed bilateral political, economic and diplomatic relations through strategic partnerships between China and the EU. Both Germany and China opposed direct military involvement in Libya`s 2011 civil war.
Prior to Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao`s visit in 2011, the Chinese government published a “White Paper on the Achievements and Prospects of Sino-German Cooperation,” the first of its kind for a European country. The visit was also the first Franco-German government consultation, an exclusive mechanism for Franco-German communication. “In China, economic growth and the closely linked globalized world go hand in hand with less rule of law, less freedom and total supervision,” he thundered. “China is not a strategic partner. China is a difficult partner. For this study, articles from six influential media outlets were analysed for the period from 1 January 2017 to 18 April 2020: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ, including FAZ.net), Handelsblatt, Der Spiegel (including Spiegel Online), Die Welt (including Welt Online), S-Deutsche Zeitung (SZ) and Die Zeit (including Zeit). Two German keywords were used: “dependent” and “commercial partner.” ARD programs are cited but are not included in quantitative data. The entire data range includes 661 items. The graph below shows the total number of articles posted in the media since 2017, with a significant increase since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. “If jobs in Germany depend on how we deal with controversial issues, we should not be outraged, but carefully weigh all positions and actions,” Kaeser told Die Welt newspaper.
Since Donald Trump put the U.S. government on a protectionist path in the White House, China and Germany have tried to join forces. Beijing and Berlin are both very interested in promoting globalization and global trade […] The two countries are very dependent on each other. China became Germany`s largest trading partner for the first time in 2016. Looking at foreign trade data, the IW study examined China`s importance to Germany`s production and employment. With the exception of a few indirect effects on the national site, the data do not explicitly cover sales of German companies with their own production in China.