Germany adopts its first comprehensive Strategy on China

China has changed. So we need to change our approach to China too.

July 13th, 2023
Editorial, News from Berlin
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China has changed. So we need to change our approach to China too. With its comprehensive Strategy on China, the Federal Government is setting a compass for our actions. Read on to find out what the Strategy says.

The text of the Federal Government Strategy on China can now be accessed here:

English version
German version
Chinese version

Over the past few decades, China has achieved strong economic growth, considerable prosperity and an impressive reduction in poverty. In this context, both China and Europe have benefited greatly from increased political, economic and societal exchange.

These positive developments in China contrast with setbacks concerning civil and political rights. And China’s economic policy aims to make it less dependent on other countries, while trying to make others more dependent on China. In terms of foreign policy, China is acting far more assertively and is attempting to reshape the existing rules‑based international order. This is having an impact on European and global security.

We have to deal with the challenges China is posing – and at the same time continue to seek and strengthen exchange and cooperation with China. China remains an indispensable partner for us in climate change mitigation, in resolving the debt crises of individual countries, in fostering food security and thus also in ensuring global stability. China is simultaneously a partner, competitor and systemic rival. The Federal Government Strategy on China takes account of all these dimensions.

What does the Strategy on China say?

The Strategy presents the Federal Government’s views on the status of and prospects for relations with China. It enables the Federal Government to assert our values and interests more effectively in this complex relationship. It presents means and instruments by which cooperation with China can be continued in face of the competition and systemic rivalry with it, without endangering our free democratic way of life, sovereignty, prosperity, partnerships with others or security. It is to provide the framework within which individual federal ministries can give coherence to their policies on China. And it is to form the basis for enhanced coordination on China in Germany, Europe and beyond.


Strategy on China cover image:

The Chinese strategy game weiqi (围棋) – in Europe also called Go – is one of the oldest known board games in the world.

Weiqi is played by two people who take it in turns to place black or white stones on a square grid. There are 10^170 possible ways to position the stones on the board. Unlike in chess, the aim of weiqi is not to checkmate the other player but to acquire advantageous positions and defend what are known as “liberties”.

13.07.2023 Speech

Speech by Foreign Minister Baerbock at MERICS on the future of Germany’s policy on China 

800 million people. That is the number of Chinese who have found their way out of poverty over the past few decades. 298 billion euro. That is the value of trade in goods between Germany and China…


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