The federal government is currently working on a new China strategy. The fact that in the communist state for the first time in decades there has been clear and public protest should be taken into account. German foreign politicians are convinced that the demonstrations are about much more than just the strict corona measures.
German foreign politicians see a new quality in the protests in China and fear a very harsh reaction from the government in Beijing. The SPD foreign politician Nils Schmid said that the extremely restrictive corona policy in China can only be enforced with the power of a dictatorship and has long since exceeded the "limits of what is acceptable". Deputy FDP parliamentary group leader Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said: “I have long believed that the zero-Covid policy of the Chinese Communist Party is doomed to failure. The pressure among the population is increasing like in a steam boiler and is now breaking through for the first time the combination of corona protests with demands for freedom and democracy on the campus of Tsinghua University shows a new quality."
In the Politburo and Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, this can only be seen as a threat to their own claim to total power, Lambsdorff told the German Press Agency. "One must therefore fear a very harsh reaction from the regime. The protests are still in their infancy. It would be naïve to believe that they could already lead to fundamental changes at this stage." In China, the strict corona policy at the weekend led to the largest protests in decades. Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in the capital Beijing and other megacities.
FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai told the newspapers of the Funke media group: "No protests of this kind have been reported so far. They show the extent of the current dissatisfaction with the repressive policies of the Communist Party." China is facing enormous foreign and economic policy challenges. "Now there are major domestic political difficulties. The German government's China strategy must take this into account."
The federal government is currently working on a new China strategy. According to a first paper, human rights should play a greater role. In addition, import dependencies are to be reduced, for example in the case of raw materials. Relations with Taiwan are to be expanded.
Green foreign politician Jürgen Trittin explained that the zero-Covid policy decreed by Xi Jinping, together with a failed vaccination strategy, is leading China to a dead end. "For the first time, the Chinese Communist Party has faced widespread criticism of its government."