Germany in the Indo-Pacific (II)

In its competition with China Germany banks on close cooperation with that country's traditional rival Vietnam.

BERLIN/HANOI | | vietnam

BERLIN/HANOI (Own report) - In the competition for influence in the "Indo-Pacific," Germany is intensifying cooperation with Vietnam, China's traditional Asian rival. Forty-five years after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bonn and Hanoi on September 23, 1975, the German government seeks to enhance the "strategic partnership," Germany has maintained with Vietnam since 2011, in particular the expansion of economic relations. From German companies' perspective, this is beneficial, because, for two decades, Vietnam has become a lucrative low-wage alternative to China in some branches, especially in textile and, increasingly in electronics - albeit with certain limitations. By supporting Hanoi in its South China Sea conflict with Beijing, Berlin aims at strengthening a Southeast Asian counterweight to the People's Republic - just like Washington, which, in addition, is involving Vietnam to a growing extent in joint military exercises. more…

Berlin: In the Underground War against Russia and China

Commentary by Hans-Rüdiger Minow

| china

In the underground war against Russia and China, material constraints determine the order of precedence: Russia is a neighbor and geographically much closer. Logistically it seems to be manageable, as far as the western region's technical density is compatible with that of Germany (road, rail and flight standards), militarily containable, once threat potential to Moscow can be permanently deployed at its borders, and economically exploitable, if the reserves of raw materials can be procured from the Far East (also by sea), at a low price. However, the further Berlin reaches beyond Moscow, the more complicated the underground becomes. more…

Business Rather than Decoupling

EU/China: Progress in negotiations of investment agreement. German Minister of State rejects "US demonization of China".

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/BEIJING | | china

BERLIN/BRUSSELS/BEIJING (Own report) - The EU and China intend to reach an accord on a bilateral investment agreement before the end of the year. This is the main result of yesterday's video conference between the European Union's leaders and China's President Xi Jinping. The bilateral negotiations, therefore, have been making significant progress and their conclusion before the end of the year seems realistic. German enterprises, in particular, are very interested in the treaty. Unlike media reports to the contrary, the majority of these enterprises are not leaving the People's Republic of China due to current political tensions, but in many cases are even "strengthening" their presence, as the European Chamber of Commerce in China notes. Whereas EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell warns against "Chinese expansionism" and demands that the EU close ranks against Beijing, the Minister of State in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Niels Annen, pleads for "maintaining dialog" with China: independence from the USA should be preserved in the conflict with Beijing. more…

Germany's Pacific Past (I)

The most savage German massacre in the colonial war in China took place 120 years ago today - in the small town of Liangxiang.

BERLIN/BEIJING | | china

BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) - Today, 120 years ago, in the small city of Liangxiang, German troops committed the most savage massacre in the colonial war in China. Under the pretext of fighting insurgents, soldiers from two battalions of marine infantry opened fire on residential areas in the small city of Liangxiang southwest of Beijing and, after conquering the town, summarily executed all its male residents. The number of inhabitants was estimated at between 3,000 and 4,000. The Liangxiang massacre was followed by many more in the course of suppressing the "Boxer Rebellion." In Berlin's opinion, the norms of the laws of war apply only to "civilized" nations, since China and its population were not considered as such; they were not binding in the German colonial war. The German troops' murder-by-arson in China bears clear resemblance to the German Empire's colonial warfare in Africa. In view of Berlin's new "Indo-Pacific" offensive, german-foreign-policy.com reminds of Germany's murderous colonial past at the Pacific. more…

Berlin: In the Underground War against Russia and China

Commentary by Hans-Rüdiger Minow

| russische-foederation

Poisoning, kidnappings and politically motivated serial murders are nothing new to Germany. They were part of daily life in the post-war period: Terrorist operations - anticipating casualties - against the infrastructure of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), were carried out by a social-democratic-clad underground organization ("Kampfgruppe gegen Unmenschlichkeit" -"Combat Group against Inhumanity") headquartered in the American sector in Berlin. Eastern intelligence services retaliated with kidnappings of anti-communist organizers and with contract killings within the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) - up until the 1980s. more…

The EU's Strategic Compass (II)

Berlin promotes focusing EU military policy and expanding consolidation of European military forces within the NATO framework.

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - With a clearer focus of EU military policy and the expansion of cooperation among European military forces within the NATO framework, the German government seeks to strengthen Europe's military clout. During the German EU Council Presidency, the EU should develop a "Strategic Compass" to bundle the, at times, highly divergent geostrategic interests within the Union, based on a common threat analysis, currently in preparation by intelligence services of EU member countries. At the same time, Berlin is promoting cooperation within NATO's Framework Nations Concept (FNC) aimed at bringing together troops from various countries for joint operations and, in particular, placing units of smaller member nations under the command of larger NATO countries, including under German command. In addition to expanding the continental military cooperation, Berlin is focusing on the "E3" i.e. an informal alliance with France and Great Britain, intended to maintain the availability of the post-Brexit British military potential for the EU. more…

In the Transpacific Cold War

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Berlin. USA intensifies economic sanctions and military provocations.

BERLIN/BEIJING | | chinausa

BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) - US aggression against China, increasing almost on a daily basis, has accompanied Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Europe, which ends today. Wang is holding talks today in Berlin. He is seeking to prevent a transatlantic concerted front against Beijing and has warned during his trip against "a new Cold War." The Trump administration has significantly expanded its sanctions against Huawei and threatened Chinese Internet companies with a ban on their business activities in the USA. It has recently also imposed sanctions on subsidiaries of the state owned CCCC construction company, nicknamed the "Huawei of infrastructure" by US politicians. CCCC is playing an important role in construction projects within the framework of the New Silk Road. The USA is also increasing its military provocations. Berlin has just reaffirmed its rejection of the "decoupling" from Beijing, demanded by Washington. Wang's visit in Europe has also been accompanied by systematic orchestrated protests intended to hamper cooperation, with German Greens playing a key role. This can only favor US aggression. more…

Dispute Over Policy Towards Turkey

EU remains divided over Turkey's aggressive foreign policy ("Neo-Ottomanism"/"Blue Homeland").

BERLIN/PARIS/ANKARA | | tuerkeifrankreich

BERLIN/PARIS/ANKARA (Own report) - A fierce controversy within the EU on how to deal with Turkey overshadows the current EU foreign ministers meeting in Berlin - a controversy caused by the ongoing maneuvers in the eastern Mediterranean by Turkish naval forces, on the one hand, and by Greek naval forces on the other. The combat drills were provoked by Turkey's search for oil and gas in waters also claimed by Greece. Ankara's foreign policy, which has become increasingly aggressive over the past few years - now even including a maritime component, known as the "Blue Homeland ("Mavi Vatan") concept - has been fueling this power struggle. The German government seeks to continue its close cooperation with Turkey, also to ward off refugees, and is therefore looking for a settlement between Athens and Ankara. France, however, pursuing different interests in the Mediterranean, is siding with Greece. The implementation of Germany's objective of harmonizing EU policy toward Turkey, is nowhere in sight. more…

The Battle over Minsk

Belarus: German foreign policy-makers insist on financial support for the pro-western opposition.

BERLIN/MINSK | | belarus

BERLIN/MINSK (Own report) - The EU should "exert pressure for new elections" in Belarus, demanded a veteran leading politician of the German Green Party. The EU is not offensive enough in the Belarusian power struggles, according to Ralf Fücks, the former president of the Green Party-affiliated Heinrich Böll Foundation, and since 2017, managing director of the transatlantic think tank "Zentrum Liberale Moderne" (Center for Liberal Modernity). German foreign policy-makers are recommending systematic support for Belarusian "civil society." Thus, millions of euros could help to promote pro-western circles in a country that maintains close ties to Russia. Berlin has already been engaged in this for decades. Germany and other western powers have been promoting subversive attempts in Belarus since President Alexander Lukashenko led the country into a union with Russia in 1999 and intensified cooperation with Moscow. Fearing over dependency on its neighboring country, Lukashenko had recently begun to cooperate more closely with the West - including participation in joint military exercises with NATO countries. more…

The "Coalition of the Determined"

For the EU to assert itself in the power competition between the USA and China, foreign policy makers are calling for a "core European" vanguard.

BERLIN | | usachina

BERLIN (Own report) - German foreign and military policy makers are pushing for an EU global policy offensive and suggest that a small number of member states should lead the way forward as a "coalition of the determined." If the mandatory unanimity rule is maintained in EU foreign policy decisions, the Union will not prevail in the global power competition, according to a recent statement by the Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS). Berlin and Paris must initiate a "core European" vanguard, because German foreign policy makers fear losing influence in the conflict between the USA and China. China is a "systemic rival" to be vigorously opposed in some respects, and at the same time, it is economically an "important partner," Michael Roth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared. The United States, however, "as an economic rival is growing tougher," according to Johann Wadephul, foreign policy maker of the CDU. Wadephul warns of an escalation of transatlantic conflicts and US efforts to take over important high-tech EU companies. more…