BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is preparing itself for the struggle for the earth's mineral resources with its own "natural resources strategy." The document, adopted last Wednesday by the German cabinet, envisions numerous measures to insure the future supply of the necessary raw materials for the German hi-tech industry. Among these is the establishment of so-called raw material partnerships - using funds from the German "development policies", Berlin seeks to obligate important nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America, rich in raw materials, to supply Germany. The Federal Agency for Geological Studies and Natural Resources (BGR) screened and established lists of countries - among them the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Brazil - which come into consideration as candidates for becoming Germany's "raw materials partners", because of their natural resources, needed for German industry. The Federation of German Industries (BDI) has announced its third "Natural Resources Congress" for tomorrow, Oct. 26, where state secretaries of the participating German ministries will be discussing Berlin's plans with leading officials of German companies and international organizations. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is supposed to also be lending its assistance. more…

ANKARA/BERLIN | | tuerkei

ANKARA/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin wants to continue to use Turkey as the "bridge" to Central Asia and the Middle East. This was emphasized by the German President, Christian Wulff, during his visit to that country, which ends today. In its role as a "bridge between the Occident and the Orient," according to Wulff, it is "an asset to Europe." This is why Germany continues to be "particularly interested in the ties between Turkey and the European Union." Wulff's declaration reflects the irritation, being heard since some time in the West, over the growing independence Ankara is demonstrating in its foreign policy. While continuing to maintain its close cooperation with the EU, the government that came to office in Turkey in 2002 is following another doctrine aimed at reinforcing Turkey's influence in the former regions of the Ottoman Empire. According to advisors in Berlin, the West could use this to strengthen its own position in the Middle East, but must be on guard to remain in a position of control. Conflicts loom in German-Turkish foreign policy in regions of Southeast Europe, where Ankara seeks to reinforce its influence among the Muslim sectors of the populations. more…

PYONGYANG/BEIJING/BERLIN | | kvdrchina

PYONGYANG/BEIJING/BERLIN (Own report) - German experts on North Korea are speculating that Pyongyang will begin opening itself up to the West. The North Korean government's "days are numbered," predicts the German Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Hartmut Koschyk (CSU), a Korea activist for many years. The FDP party-affiliated Friedrich Naumann Foundation claims to have learned in Pyongyang that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is pursuing an "opening up" strategy. These speculations are occurring in the midst of a comprehensive North Korean generation change of guard, including at the top levels of the state, bringing some people, who have close contacts to western countries, into influential positions. Berlin is observing Pyongyang's trend toward opening up with consistent efforts to unify North and South Korea - along the lines of the annexation of the German Democratic Republic by the Federal Republic of Germany. These efforts are also targeting China. As one foreign policy expert from Shanghai explains, North Korea is very significant as a buffer country between the US military units stationed in South Korea and China, tying down US troops, with its own military potential. If North and South Korea should unite, this would provide Washington a much larger military leeway in its relations with Beijing. more…

NEW DELHI/BERLIN | | indien

NEW DELHI/BERLIN (Own report) - The German foreign minister will be visiting India for the next few days, to intensify cooperation with one of China's most important Asian rivals. The visit will be focused on the development of business relations, which, in spite of the ambitious targets set and pretentious accords reached, has lagged far behind business with Beijing. Berlin is interested, among other things, in a rapid conclusion of the EU Free Trade Agreement with India, expected to appreciably enhance trade. These plans have been heavily criticized, not least of all because this could jeopardize the inexpensive production of generic medicine, which could save hundreds of thousands of lives. Berlin is also particularly protective of its arms industry companies, seeking to increase their production profits, which, because of austerity measures at home, seek new markets abroad. India is now supposed to buy German tanks. Columnists in the German press are drawing up a critical interim balance sheet on the fruits born by the efforts to build up India to become China's Asian rival. They note that China's influence is growing "much stronger than India's." more…

NEW YORK/BERLIN |

NEW YORK/BERLIN (Own report) - The UN General Assembly voted yesterday that in 2011, Germany will have a two year seat on the UN Security Council. With an unusual challenger candidature against two other NATO allies, Berlin succeeded in returning to the highest UN body after only six years absence. The German media speaks of the opportunities afforded by Security Council membership, particularly "authorizing wars" or "imposing sanctions". Germany is being referred to as a new global power. Today, even sectors of the German elite are opposed to the German government being too obvious about its striving for power. This could "provoke unpleasant conflicts", warns an article in the foreign policy periodical, "Internationale Politik". The author recognized a new "consciousness of power," which, since the days of the SPD-Green administration, has marked German foreign policy and led to a growing disempowerment of smaller EU member nations. Berlin's power policies are being domestically flanked by a growing "national pride," that reaches new records - particularly in the younger generation. more…

BERLIN/BEIJING | | china

BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) - Berlin is unanimously cheering the fact that this year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo. Already in the past, Chancellor Merkel has taken initiatives in favor of this Chinese "dissident" demanding his release from prison and will continue to do so, declared a spokesperson for the German government. Liu received the prize for his "struggle for fundamental human rights in China", writes the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a matter of fact, Liu is demanding nothing less than the overthrow of the People's Republic of China. Unlike petitions from other Chinese "dissidents", the "Charter 08," which he co-authored, is no human rights resolution, but rather a comprehensive political program, seeking a fundamental transformation of China. Among the demands is the creation of a federal state, such as the Federal Republic of Germany, a complete rupture with the Chinese state tradition covering several millennia. In addition the program calls for the reversal of all nationalization measures, taken since the founding of the People's Republic. This would mean rescinding the land reform that has assured the small farmers' existence to this day and the fulfillment of the demands of Western companies seeking to expand to China. more…

BERLIN/BEIJING | | china

BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) - On the eve of the announcement of this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate, German media have declared a Chinese "dissident" to be their favorite candidate. According to the German press, "it would be a courageous signal", if the Nobel Committee awards the prize to Liu Xiaobo, the Honorary President of the Chinese Pen Center. Liu has been calling, among other things, for the far reaching privatization of state property in China, including the land that had been reapportioned to small farmers under the land reform. Since the beginning of the 1990s, German government circles, party foundations and NGOs have increasingly been using the so-called dissidents as a means of applying pressure on Beijing. Regardless of their concrete political demands, "dissidents" are presented to the German public as "human rights activists" to stir up anti-Beijing sentiments. Even though they currently have no influence in their country, these "dissidents" are being kept at the ready, as potential cooperation partners for the case of a change of system in China. In this third part of the series on Germany's strategy towards China, german-foreign-policy.com describes the Chinese "dissidents'" role in Berlin's foreign policy. more…

BERLIN/BRUSSELS | | chinasuedkorea

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - At various summit meetings taking place over the next few days, Berlin and Brussels will be continuing to pursue their efforts to gain influence in Eastern Asia. The prospects of the German industry landing lucrative business deals with China has led the German government to initiate talks on a further expansion of business relations between the two countries. The People's Republic of China is attracting a record amount of German investments and will soon be importing more German products than even the United States. Berlin is simultaneously pursuing its efforts to enhance its position in the countries bordering on China. A new EU Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, to be signed tomorrow, October 6, should create new opportunities, particularly for German companies - at the expense of the Italian industry. The Beijing/Tokyo territorial dispute over a group of islands in the East China Sea, gives an idea of the escalation potential engendered in the West's encirclement of China. Tensions are also imminent between the EU and Myanmar. Berlin is trying to intensify pressure on Myanmar, which is of extraordinary geostrategic importance to China. Germany wants to include sharp criticism of the Myanmar government in the final declaration of the EU summit meeting with 19 Asian nations that is drawing to a close today. more…

Berhanu Nega | KÖLN | | aethiopien
(Berhanu Nega)

KÖLN About western support for the Ethiopian regime german-foreign-policy.com spoke to Dr. Berhanu Nega. Dr. Berhanu was elected as mayor of Addis Ababa in 2005. He was prevented from taking office, put in jail and released after 21 months. Dr. Berhanu who works today as Associate Professor of Economics at Bucknell University (Pennsylvania) was sentenced to death in Ethiopia in 2009. more…

BERLIN/ADDIS ABABA | | aethiopien

BERLIN/ADDIS ABABA (Own report) - The German Bundeswehr is expanding its support for Ethiopia's armed forces, despite persistent accusations that they committed serious war crimes. As was confirmed by the parliamentary state secretary in the German Defense Ministry, Thomas Kossendey, Berlin is offering Addis Ababa a bilateral military cooperation program for 2011, which includes the training of army and air force officers. A so-called organization for development aid is also involved. Berlin has been supporting the Ethiopian regime for years, because it has made itself useful as the West's East African proxy. Over the past few years, Ethiopia, in coordination with Washington and Berlin, dispatched its troops to Somalia to overthrow forces displeasing to the West and committed grave war crimes, according to reports from human rights organizations. These organizations are also accusing the Ethiopian army of ignoring the rules of warfare in their repression of Ethiopia's domestic rebellions. In his talk with german-foreign-policy.com, Dr. Berhanu Nega, who opposes the regime in his country, raised grave accusations against Germany's policy toward Ethiopia. Dr. Berhanu considers the hope that the West would be helpful in Ethiopia's democratization process is doomed from the outset. more…