China’s ascendancy has come with a rising ambition to put their stamp on world affairs.
But since their system of governance remains autocratic and repressive, the West has thought it prudent to begin to pull back investing in their land.
The hope had always been that political change in China — toward a more open system — would come through trade.
Instead, the Chinese Communist party keeps tightening its hold on their population.
Many western companies have now begun to move their Chinese operations to other nations, notably Vietnam and India.
Germany, on the other hand, is choosing to go in the other direction, increasing their investments in China.
Is this wise?
Is it naïve on the part of Germany’s business leaders to expect that China’s communist party will treat their increased investments any differently than those of other nations as they pursue their policy of favoring their own SOEs — state owned enterprises?
I think it is.
The communist party will not now change for German automakers and chemical plants.
Instead the Chinese leadership will learn how to use their ties with Germany to find their way into the rest of Europe and undermine the western alliance.
The German business sector knows of this risk and yet they persist. Has the lure of profits clouded their judgment?
I think so.
The cohesiveness the West has found in support of Ukraine’s defense needs much care to keep it alive.
Engaging with Chinese company Huawei for the installation of 5G systems to upgrade communications infrastructure was deemed a poor choice by America, since it would open the way for information gathering on western operations by Chinese authorities.
But while most of the West has agreed to bar Huawei from bidding on the 5G upgrade, Germany has chosen to believe there is no risk and will not do so.
France, by contrast, is barring Huawei.
Judging by the close economic ties Germany had developed with Putin over the years, it seems their successive governments have had trouble with reality.
Denying that China is keen on using the West to their own ends is embracing denial.
German business leaders think they will be spared but they will not.
Of course, in the meantime, money will be made by both sides.
By increasing their investments in China, Germany will be contributing to that nation’s ambition of world domination.
German business leaders, with the complicity of prime minister Olaf Scholz, are denying reality.
They have a history of doing so.
Meanwhile, gentlemen, Ukraine could use more help.
Winds of freedom are blowing from Ukraine.
Not from China.