Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree

Scholz heads back to China

Peter Oliver in Berlin

 , Updated 00:28, 14-Apr-2024

German leader Olaf Scholz made his first visit to China 18 months ago. ‌Now he's heading back along with some of the biggest names in German business, with VW, Siemens and Bayer bosses understood to be among those taking the trip this time.

Scholz visited China in November 2022, accompanied by representatives from 12 major German companies. Xi and Scholz also held a video meeting a year later.

This time, the delegation will be visiting Chongqing and Shanghai before heading to Beijing.

The economic links between the two countries are huge. Preliminary results from the federal statistics office show that China was Germany's biggest trading partner for an eighth consecutive year in 2023.

Huang Yiyang, the Chinese Consul General in Frankfurt, told CGTN that both sides will be looking to strengthen those mutually beneficial links.‌

"More than one third of that bilateral trade, between China and EU and one third of investment between China and the EU belongs to China and Germany. So you can see how important it is," he said. "And also Germany – over the past four decades, so many important brands such as Mercedes, Volkswagen, Bosch, etc, all have become familiar household brands. So you can see how important it is and how deep the influence of this bondage between China and Germany."

Electric vehicles are a major topic in the EU right now with some member states seeking tariffs on Chinese car makers. The CEO of Mercedes is among those senior figures who has spoken out directly against tariffs on Chinese vehicles.‌

Scholz leaves a news conference in the Hebei Hall of the Great Hall of the People during his last trip to China. /Kay Nietfeld/picture-alliance/dpa/AP
Scholz leaves a news conference in the Hebei Hall of the Great Hall of the People during his last trip to China. /Kay Nietfeld/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Scholz leaves a news conference in the Hebei Hall of the Great Hall of the People during his last trip to China. /Kay Nietfeld/picture-alliance/dpa/AP


Botswana offers to send Germany 20,000 elephants

Genetic clues to left-handedness revealed

European pasta market beats to Turkish durum

Hans-Peter Friedrich, chairman of the German-Chinese parliamentary committee in the Bundestag, says he hopes that message travels with Olaf Scholz.

"I know what I would recommend to the Chancellor. I think the industry, the economy, which knows what dynamics exist in China, has assessed this very well," he said. "Daimler Benz has said leave this nonsense with tariffs alone. We don't actually need new borders for prosperity in the world. We don't need new tariffs, we don't need new trade barriers, we need freedom."

And it's not just the EVs themselves. Germany and China have been working together to keep transport links and supply chains running smoothly so the new cars can be rolled out across Europe. Uniquors Group is one of the companies forging those logistics links. The group's president David Yang told CGTN that the ability to get products to Europe from China helps to boost the business relationship.

"Chinese electric vehicles are making great progress," he said. "So more German companies are having joint ventures with, and investing in, Chinese companies. The final products are exported to Europe. The logistics, China Railway Express, and supply chain are playing a crucial role."

It's not all rosy though. China's new envoy to Frankfurt says business ties between the two countries remain strong, despite some negative coverage in the local press.

"If you're just reading this mainstream media, you will get a totally different impression of perspective, of the reality of the China German relations. You can tend to be quiet, pessimistic."

Consul General Huang went on to say to CGTN that in his own experience in Germany so far, he's come across a much brighter outlook.

‌"I got a totally different impression since I came here, over the past eight months. The general impression is that if you really know China, especially when you have been to China, you'll get a totally different impression of what China is about and what's the future? The future lies in good cooperation. So actually I'm quite confident for the future."

Scholz heads back to China

Subscribe to Storyboard: A weekly newsletter bringing you the best of CGTN every Friday

Search Trends