June 13, 2024

Columbus Post

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Chancellor Scholes arrived in Beijing

A different greeting on a government trip

Chinese President Xi refuses to shake hands with Sholes

Olaf Scholz arrived in China on Friday on an official visit. The German chancellor had a different greeting.

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Olaf Scholz and Xi Jinping meet at a distance.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (64, SPD) has arrived in Beijing for his first visit as head of the German government. His flight landed at the airport in the Chinese capital on Friday morning local time.

After his arrival, a meeting with state president and party leader Xi Jinping, 69, is on the agenda. Scholz is the first Western head of government to meet with Xi Jinping since his re-election as party leader nearly two weeks ago.

But when the two heads of government meet, an unusual situation arises due to strict corona rules. Xi Jinping refuses to shake hands with Shawls. No fisticuffs, but instead the two politicians meet at a distance.

Meetings with various representatives are scheduled

Due to the continued strict corona restrictions in China, Scholz’s visit will last only eleven hours, the shortest of any other president’s trip to the world’s most populous country. The president is the first head of government from the group of major industrialized nations (G-7) to return to China since the pandemic began nearly three years ago. He will also meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who is due to step down next March.

Around a dozen top managers accompanied the Chancellor, including the CEOs of Volkswagen, BMW, BASF, Bayer and Deutsche Bank. Scholes will also meet local company representatives in Beijing. The timing of Xi Jinping’s trip after the party congress, which further expanded his power, was controversial. Chinese dissidents and even the World Uyghur Congress had called for its repeal.

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Shortly before his departure, Scholz announced a new course towards China in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. “It’s clear that if China changes, the way we deal with China must also change.” In his talks in Beijing, Schalls wants to address “hard issues” such as human rights issues and the treatment of minorities. Scholz expressed concern about the situation around Taiwan and implicitly warned of an invasion by China. (SDA)