September 15, 2020

Germany’s Indo-Pacific Vision: A New Reckoning With China or More Strategic Drift?

By ​Coby Goldberg

In a live briefing following a virtual EU-China leaders’ meeting on September 14, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spent six minutes discussing Europe’s trade negotiations with China. “In the last 15 years, China has become much stronger economically and this means that the demand for reciprocity – for a level playing field – is of course very justified today,” Merkel said, adding that she pressed Xi on the need for progress on the long-stalled EU-China bilateral investment treaty.

She only spoke about Hong Kong and minority rights in China for 10 seconds.

Berlin’s regional strategy tinkers around the edges of trade policy without risking the cost of a full-fledged strategic reckoning with China.

Coming two weeks after Germany released a regional strategy for the Indo-Pacific, some have claimed the summit highlights a newly assertive European approach to China. But, like Monday’s summit, Berlin’s regional strategy tinkers around the edges of trade policy without risking the cost of a full-fledged strategic reckoning with China.

Read the full article and more in The Diplomat.

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