But Xi expressed concerns about Ukraine to Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two leaders met in September.

Wang Yiwei, the director of the Center for European Studies at Renmin University, said the importance of Scholz’s visit was heightened by the fact that this is the first time in three years that a leader of a major Western power has seen face-to-face. face contact with Chinese counterparts.

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“It tests the waters of the relationship between China and Germany, Europe and even the West. If this visit is successful, Macron will come a month later,” Wang said.

French President Emmanuel Macron had suggested Scholz go to Beijing together to send out a signal of EU unity, but Scholz turned down the offer, German government sources told Reuters.

The trip comes after Berlin’s green light for China to acquire a stake in a port terminal in Hamburg, despite opposition from coalition partners and concerns from the United States.

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Germany’s current economic situation, with historic inflation and looming recession, is the reason behind Berlin’s traditional China policy and its softer stance on Beijing than other NATO powers, said Renmin University’s Shi.

A delegation of business leaders, including chief executives from Volkswagen, BMW and Siemens, accompanied Scholz on the trip, but no business deals were planned, a German government source said.

Scholz should have taken people and organizations who are not allowed to enter the country, said Greens leader Omid Nouripour.

“In addition to the necessary economic exchange, there must be a clearer condemnation of human rights restrictions and a strategy to reduce dependency in critical areas,” Nouripour said, according to Funke Media Group.

Reuters