Export This

Germany still exports cars like hotcakes.

But China exports more.

China’s car exports surpass Germany’s after 54.4 per cent surge to 3.11 million in 2022, narrowing Japan’s lead – China has surpassed Germany to become the world’s second-largest car exporter after mainland exports jumped 54.4 per cent year on year to 3.11 million vehicles in 2022, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Could, Might, Should…

But they won’t.

That the SPD even uses the word “could” says it all.

Germany’s ties with China chould change fundamentally – SPD leader.

Germany would be forced to cut ties with China in the way it has with Russia should China attack Taiwan, the leader of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) told the weekly Die Zeit in comments published on Wednesday.

Alternatives Needed

Like a good alternative reality. Anybody got one handy?

After taking the latest concrete step to make Germany more dependent on China, the German government reminds everyone that Germany should stive to be less dependent on China.

Germany must be more trade independent from China, minister says -news portal – Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck wants to make the German economy more independent from China by focusing on alternative furture markets.

No German Going-It-Alone Here

They have another word for it. It’s called Alleingang.

That means going-it-alone, of course. Although that is something Germans regularly claim they would never ever do. Apparently, only Germans are capable of believing such nonsense.

Olaf Scholz Is Undermining Western Unity on China – The German chancellor’s go-it-alone approach has alienated domestic, EU, and international partners.

The German chancellor sought to get ahead of the pack. Scholz argued it was time to speak directly with Xi after a three-year hiatus in such bilateral meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The chancellor said he sought to confront issues in the Germany-China relationship precisely because it isn’t business as usual. In an op-ed in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Scholz wrote that “as China changes, so must our approach to the country.”

“We Must Not Make This Mistake Again”

While making this mistake again. The dependency mistake. See the Russian energy dependency mistake. This time it’s the hooked on China mistake.

China is a key market for German automakers including Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. If not the key market. And it will remain that way, despite the German government’s latest public relations move.

German auto industry could face tougher rules over China relations – Germany’s auto industry could face tougher rules on disclosing information over its China relations.

Germany’s foreign ministry plans to tighten the rules for companies including automakers that are deeply exposed to China, making them disclose more information and possibly conduct stress tests for geopolitical risks.

Is Germany Finally Waking Up?

Probably not. But still. It’s starting to roll around a little in its sleep.

German economy ministry favours blocking Chinese takeover of Elmos’ chip production – Germany’s economy ministry has recommended to the cabinet that the government block the Chinese takeover of Elmos’ (ELGG.DE) chip factory, saying it would pose a threat to national security, ministry sources said on Tuesday.

Mixed Signals

And all of them bad.

The next German Alleingang (going it alone).

European Commissioner for Industry and the Internal Market Thierry Breton, a Frenchman, warned Scholz: “The time for naivety is over. We must be on guard.” The behaviour of the individual EU members towards China must be coordinated and not decided alone, “as China apparently prefers.” French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that he and Scholz should fly to China together at a later date to demonstrate European unity, a suggestion which Scholz ignored.

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) foreign policy expert Norbert Röttgen also attacked Scholz sharply. He accused him of damaging Germany’s foreign policy during his trip, “because it costs us our partners’ trust. It does not even strengthen our reputation with the Chinese, because they only react to strength and despise weakness.”

Why Should We Worry About Becoming Too Dependent On China?

It worked out great with Russia, didn’t it?

Germany’s Continued Illusions About China and Russia – Berlin’s pursuit of economic and political ties with Beijing and Moscow has created dangerous dependencies. A change in strategy would benefit both Germany and the EU

Over the years, these two authoritarian regimes embedded themselves in the German economy and ingratiated themselves with the elites. Such developments prevented the EU from forging a coherent, critical strategy toward both Moscow and Beijing.

Germans Thinking About Reducing Their Dependency On China

Why on earth for? It worked great with Russia.

German economy ministry reviews measures to curb China business – Germany’s economy ministry is considering a raft of measures to make business with China less attractive as it seeks to reduce its dependency on Asia’s economic superpower, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The measures could include reducing or even scrapping investment and export guarantees for China and no longer promoting trade fairs and manager training there, those people said. Loans from state lender KfW could be re-directed to projects in other Asian countries, such as Indonesia, in line with attempts to diversify trade and increase business with democracies.