After his short-term invitation, Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) wants to achieve a new balance in relations with China. It is about "a self-confident and realistic approach to China" and "a less velvet-pawed appearance" than the previous governments had shown, Lindner said in the podcast of the news portal "The Pioneer". "We won't let our liberal values be bought off for good business."
According to the German Ministry of Finance, the Chinese Ministry of Finance had asked at the weekend to postpone the talks planned for May 10 for scheduling reasons. The visit was originally intended to prepare for the german-China intergovernmental consultations and a high-level financial dialogue. According to the information, the meeting in Beijing will be held at a later date.
"We need a better balance"
The FDP leader told the news portal that those who rely only on economic relations lose a piece of the civilizational mission. "On the other hand, if you only argue with conviction, you won't make a difference. We need a better balance than in the past, when we looked too much at the economy." His priorities are clear: "When values come into tension, then the commitment to international law is central."
However, Lindner rejected a decoupling of the German economy from the Chinese market: "Despite our systemic rivalry, it would be naïve for our economic development to believe that we could simply decouple."
It is unclear whether the cancellation is also related to China's relationship with Lindner and his FDP. In March, Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) traveled to Taiwan and caused displeasure in Beijing.
Lindner himself had recently criticized China's stance on Russia's war against Ukraine and also called for human rights issues to be addressed openly.