Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 
News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

Germany must confront China on human rights despite trade, says industry

06/22/2021 | 06:43am EDT
FILE PHOTO: A student holds flags of China and Germany before a welcome ceremony in Beijing

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany needs an honest discussion about how to deal with trading partners such as China and must not duck confrontation if red lines on human rights are crossed, the head of the influential BDI industry association said on Tuesday.

China has become Germany's most important trading partner and German exports there have helped mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Europe's biggest economy. However, concerns about China's growing assertiveness and its human rights record have caused concern.

In a speech at an industry event, BDI President Siegfried Russwurm said Europe and Western countries needed to adopt a confident approach towards "difficult" customers and competitors such as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil.

"We need an honest discussion about how we deal with autocratic trading partners," he said. "We advocate responsible coexistence and cooperation - with clear boundaries."

He added that part of that approach was accepting that different social systems exist side by side.

"We must not shy away from confrontation when red lines are crossed. Universal human rights, for example, are not an 'internal affair'," he said.

Russwurm welcomed a move by the Group of Seven richest democracies to stand up to China's Belt and Road initiative, saying it was "right - and overdue".

The G7 sought earlier this month to counter China's growing influence by offering developing nations an infrastructure plan that could rival President Xi Jinping's multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative.

They also singled out China in their communique over human rights.

China denounced the joint G7 statement as a gross interference in the country's internal affairs, and urged the grouping to stop slandering China.

Addressing the same conference, Armin Laschet, who hopes to succeed Merkel as conservative chancellor after a September election, welcomed the G7 move, but struck a more cautious note, saying starting a cold war with China was not the answer.

"We must talk about our concerns (on human rights) but there is no need to turn our China policy on its head," said Laschet.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Alison Williams and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EURO / BRAZILIAN REAL (EUR/BRL) 1.36% 6.2261 Delayed Quote.-2.49%
THYSSENKRUPP AG 1.32% 8.456 Delayed Quote.2.78%
US DOLLAR / RUSSIAN ROUBLE (USD/RUB) 0.11% 73.0589 Delayed Quote.-0.99%
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
09:39aCanadian dollar falls as Delta variant weighs on oil
09:38aCanadian manufacturing growth hits 5-month low amid supply constraints
09:37aWall St rises on earnings, M&A cheer amid Delta worries
09:35aBP : shares climb after payout boost, energising transition
09:29aChinese crypto addresses sent $2.2 billion to scams, darknets in 2019-2021 -report
09:28aCARLOS TAVARES : Stellantis lifts margin goal as Tavares' turnaround kicks in
09:28aIrish COVID-19 jobless claims tumble at fastest rate this year
09:24aIndian carmakers seek extra year to meet fuel efficency rules, sources say
09:23aMeatpacker Tyson Foods mandates vaccines for workers
09:21aUK takeovers hit 14-year high in first seven months of 2021
Latest news "Economy & Forex"