German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived in Beijing on Friday morning for a controversial visit amid the growing Western challenge to China’s authoritarian regime.
Schultz’s plane landed in the Chinese capital around 01:40 GMT.
This visit lasts a few hours and is the first for an EU and G7 leader since the start of the Covid pandemic.
On Wednesday, Schulz vowed not to ignore controversial issues during his visit in China.
“We seek cooperation, which is in the interest of both sides. We will not ignore the controversial issues,” he wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung prior to the visit.
Schulz listed a number of “difficult topics” he would present, including respect for civil liberties and the rights of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and free and fair international trade.
But the leader of Europe’s biggest economic power has faced criticism of the visit, with even members of his ruling coalition expressing concern over Germany’s heavy dependence on increasingly authoritarian Beijing.
These fears were exacerbated after Germany found itself in a difficult situation due to its dependence on Russian gas imports, as it suffered an energy crisis after Moscow cut supplies due to the high level of tension due to the war in Ukraine.
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