BERLIN, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Germany might at to start with have been naive in some locations of cooperation with China, but should really not sever all connections in reaction to expanding tensions, Chancellor Angela Merkel has advised Reuters.
Merkel’s technique of engagement has observed China turn into Germany’s leading investing husband or wife all through her 16 decades in office, and has formed Europe’s stance on Asia’s growing superpower, even amid worries about unfair competitiveness and industrial espionage.
“It’s possible in the beginning we were being alternatively also naive in our approach to some cooperation partnerships,” Merkel said in an job interview. “These days we glance additional closely, and rightly so.”
Merkel, who did not stand for re-election previous September and will depart business office at the time a new govt is agreed, mentioned Germany and more broadly the European Union really should nonetheless continue on to cooperate with China, and could understand from a person one more.
“Whole decoupling would not be proper in my perspective, it would be harming for us,” she claimed.
China turned Germany’s greatest trade husband or wife in 2016 and its fast financial enlargement has fuelled German advancement all over her tenure. But some critics say Germany is now much too reliant on China, and starting to be as well soft on Beijing on awkward challenges this kind of as human legal rights violations.
Merkel’s government has stated she normally addresses human rights difficulties on her official visits to Beijing – of which there have been no less than 12 – and has sought to diversify trade in Asia.
Merkel said Germany was constantly in discussions with Beijing on mental assets and patent protection, “both of those with regard to Chinese students in Germany and German enterprises running in China”.
She also said Western democracies that tried to formulate ethical criteria for new systems had to stay abreast of innovation in get to grasp their impression.
“At the minute, that is not the situation in Europe in fields this kind of as quantum desktops and artificial intelligence,” she explained. “China and in many areas the U.S. are greater.”
But Merkel claimed the state have to however guard its important infrastructure, pointing to a new German IT protection regulation that sets substantial hurdles for makers of equipment for future-era telecommunications networks, this kind of as China’s Huawei.
“Nonetheless, I truly feel it is normally vital to worry that unique corporations should not be excluded from the outset.”
Merkel is now acting in a caretaker potential pending the development of a new coalition authorities, some of whose probable customers advocate a harder line on China.
“We have to have an open procedure in which absolutely everyone is assessed according to the same specifications,” she reported.
Reporting Andreas Rinke Producing by Sarah Marsh Modifying by Kevin Liffey
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