China and Germany teach each other lessons on contemporary influence without brandishing hard power.
On the ground, however – In a 25-country poll by the BBC (44-page PDF) published in May 2013, German opinion on China was 13% positive vs 67% negative in 2013, a marked drop – from 42% positive vs 47% negative in 2012.
– – –
When it comes to China, which side is Germany on?
Berlin’s ‘special relationship’ with Beijing means it is not keen for the EU to start a commercial war with the Asian giant
Source – The Guardian, published September 12, 2013
A long-running dispute between the EU and China over the prosaic, but economically significant, matter of solar panels has thrown up a fundamental question: which side is Germany on? The trade war concerned billions of pounds of Chinese panels that Europe suspected were being heavily subsidised and then “dumped” on the European market. Germany led the opposition to taking punitive action against the Chinese.
“What is certain is that the Germans have taken up almost word for word the rhetoric of the Chinese trade ministry,” said a European diplomat from one of the countries in favour of imposing sanctions on China.
There’s a paradox at play here: it is German manufacturers who wanted the European commission to look into the solar panel issue. But for the German leadership there are bigger matters to consider, not least the country’s burgeoning “special relationship” with the Asian powerhouse.
Please click here to read the entire article at the Guardian.