On May 9, 2023 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock jointly met the press in Berlin.
In response to a reporter’s question about the “de-risking” through diplomacy of relations with China, a notion proposed by Germany and the EU, Qin Gang said that when talking about “de-risking”, one must first consider what and where risks are. China does not export its system, and it follows a path of peaceful development, pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, stays true to and safeguards the international order underpinned by international law, and opposes hegemonic, domineering and bullying practices. Never will China engage in activities similar to sabotaging the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. China is ready to work with all countries to address challenges and build a human community with a shared future. What China exports are opportunities, cooperation, stability and assurance, rather than crises, confrontation, turmoil and risks.
The formation and development of the international industrial and supply chains are the results of economic globalization and market economy, both of which are strongly advocated and promoted by European countries. The past 40-plus years of China’s reform and opening up have witnessed fruitful results in economic, trade and investment cooperation between China and Germany, and between China and the EU, with all three parties reaping huge benefits. Facts show that China and Europe are two major markets for common development and two major partners for win-win cooperation. Noting that China is committed to achieving high-quality development, Qin Gang said China will continue to expand high-standard opening up, and welcome German and European companies’ efforts to explore the Chinese market. China will foster an enabling investment environment that is based on market principles, governed by law and up to international standards for enterprises from all countries.
China appreciates the statements from the German and European sides that they will not decouple from China, but China is concerned about the voice of “de-risking” from the European side. If the EU seeks to decouple from China in the name of “de-risking”, it will decouple from opportunities, cooperation, stability, and development. China, Germany, and the EU should all abide by international trade rules and the spirit of contract, keep opening up to each other, and refrain from politicizing normal economic, trade and investment cooperation and interfering with the market.
It is worth noting that certain countries are launching a “new Cold War”, undermining international rules, inciting ideological antagonism, engaging in bloc confrontation, pushing for decoupling and severing supply chains, abusing the monopoly position of their currencies to impose long-arm jurisdiction and unilateral sanctions against other countries, and exporting their own inflation and financial crises, thus causing serious spillover effects. These are the real risks that need to be taken seriously! Once this “new Cold War” starts, it will not only undermine China’s interests but also hurt Europe’s interests. A research report released recently by an Austrian think tank estimates that if decoupled from China, Germany will see its GDP drop by 2 percent per year, equivalent to a loss of 60 billion euros. Qin Gang stressed the need to resolutely oppose decoupling and severing supply chains, stay on high alert against a “new Cold War”, and join hands to keep the global industrial and supply chains stable and unimpeded.