German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated G7’s expectation at the BDI business lobby conference in Berlin that China “would not forcibly change the status quo in Taiwan, and would abide by international rules,” the Central News Agency reports.

Besides urging against the use of force on Taiwan, Scholz highlighted the necessity to work with Beijing to solve global issues, including climate change. “The G7 has no interest in impeding China’s economic rise ... and at the same time, we are watching closely to avoid dangerous economic dependencies,” he explained.

Scholz has advocated a balanced approach to China, calling for “derisking” — rather than “decoupling” — from Chinese trade by diversifying partners, according to the Associated Press. China has been Germany’s largest trading partner in recent years.

At the conference, BDI President Siegfried Russwurm echoed Scholz’s view, adding that “decoupling from China would be unrealistic and harmful. What we need is determined de-risking.”

Germany’s complicated relationship with China is reflected in Berlin’s first ever national security strategy. Presented last week, the report says the German government regards China as “a partner, competitor, and systemic rival.”

“Elements of rivalry and competition have increased in recent years,” the report says. “[A]t the same time China remains a partner without which many of the most pressing global challenges can’t be solved.”

AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and China’s Premier Li Qiang arrive to address a press conference at the end of German-Chinese economy consultations on June 20, 2023 at the Chancellery in Berlin. China's Premier Li Qiang meets German leaders at a time when Beijing’s policies on Russia, trade and human rights are receiving an increasingly hostile reception in the West.

Scholz repeated the G7 consensus on Taiwan Strait as Chinese Premier Li Qiang was visiting Germany and France, his first trip abroad since being elevated to the 2nd position on the Chinese Communist Party’s top decision making body.

Li, speaking at a meeting with representatives of the German business community in Berlin, pushed back on the ideas of “derisking” or “reducing dependence” on China, according to Xinhua News Agency.

He said, “It is understandable that all parties have their own security concerns, [but] what is important is how to reasonably define and guard against risks. If not handled properly and the risks are amplified, more and bigger problems will only be created.”

“Failure to cooperate is the biggest risk, and failure to develop is the biggest insecurity,” he added.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, hosting Li at his Berlin residence, stressed the importance of improving communication between China and the United States, as U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made his visit to Beijing, in which he met with China’s leader Xi Jinping.

READ NEXT: Blinken Meets China’s Xi Jinping in Beijing Visit

TNL Editor: Bryan Chou (@thenewslensintl)

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