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Germany monitors relations between Australia and China with “great concerns”

Comments from the normally cautious German Ministry of Foreign Affairs are a further sign of relocation by European countries working to move global tensions to the immediate vicinity of Australia.

“What’s happening here certainly affects Germany’s interests in many ways,” Dr. Fitchen said. “The challenge is what we have long taken for granted.”

Australia’s diplomatic relations with its largest trading partner collapsed after multiple controversies over the coronavirus, attacks on journalists, and multiple trade strikes on major industries.

“We are very concerned about this situation and are watching over it,” said Dr. Fitchen. “Of course, we follow that and wonder what that means for the region.”

The Morrison administration has accused Beijing of being a “deputy sheriff” for the benefit of the United States in the Indo-Pacific, but European powers, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, have increased transparency and defense of human rights issues. And the entire disputed zone promoting the establishment of a diplomatic network.

Dr. Fitchen emphasized that Germany’s first Indo-Pacific guidelines, released in September, are about inclusiveness and not for any country, and containment and segregation strategies are not productive and risk taking root. Said there is. “This poses a security risk,” he said.

“Europe, after all, has the European Union, a peace project for Europe to embrace its bloody past. There is the Council of Europe for the rule of law, justice and human rights,” he said. ..

“We are accustomed to being able to draw political tensions into existing structures. It takes a long time and is tiring, but at least we have a way to solve the problem. This is lacking in this area. There seems to be. “

The Indo-Pacific guidelines show that Germany aims to “open up” the EU’s more active role at the East Asia Summit. The East Asia Summit will host 18 countries from across the region for strategic cooperation. Dr. Fitchen said the German Navy is aiming to visit ports and participate in exercises in the South China Sea. In the South China Sea, China disagrees with maritime claims.

Germany will also expand cybersecurity cooperation with Australia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea. According to Australian security agencies, China is believed to be behind state-based cyberattacks on governments and infrastructure throughout the region.

Sydney Morning Herald And Era On Tuesday, France announced that it would establish a new ambassador for the Indo-Pacific, further increasing diplomatic pressure on China the year after France announced its own regional strategy last year. The United States has also significantly expanded its embassy presence in Canberra as a base for operations in the region.

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Germany and France are promoting the implementation of a unified EU Indo-Pacific strategy when France takes over the replacement EU Presidency in 2022.

European forces are working on ways to deal with the more aggressive China while avoiding the effects of trade and diplomacy that have marked the last two years of Australian-Chinese relations. Germany trades up to $ 700 billion in commodities each year through the Indo-Pacific, including the South China Sea.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, visited Beijing since 12 times and became prime minister in 2005, it has maintained the most comprehensive relationship with Xi Jinping Jintao of China.

Germany has raised human rights issues with the Chinese Communist Party, but has historically contained them in certain human rights dialogues. It has largely maintained the outcome of the trade Germany relies on for its politically influential automotive sector and has elicited criticism from human rights defenders.

Diddy Kirsten Tatrow, a senior researcher at the German Foreign Relations Council, told German public broadcasters. Deutsche Welle July: “Germany basically says nothing in public. At this point, it feels like Germany isn’t meeting expectations,” she said.

In September, Dr. Merkel made the most direct comment on the treatment of the Uighur Muslim minority and the crackdown on Beijing in Hong Kong to date.

“We will continue to address this, as well as the horrifying and often horrifying treatment of minority rights in China,” she said before the virtual summit between the EU and President Xi.

Dr. Fitchen said he would diversify political and economic relations in Asia so that Germany would not rely on the Chinese market.

“Diversification does not mean decoupling. Diversification means adding China and X,” he said.

“The German government and the EU must meet the necessary conditions for this.”

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Eryk Bagshaw is a Chinese correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Due to travel restrictions, he is currently based in Canberra.

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Germany monitors relations between Australia and China with “great concerns”

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