The Bridge Man's legacy + Scholz defends China visit
Chancellor Olaf Scholz plans to wrap up his entire China visit in just eleven hours this Friday. That is a whole new tempo. Angela Merkel always allowed herself two to three days. But that was also before Covid. It was a different time. That is precisely what the Chancellor now acknowledges in a written statement – that the situation in and toward China has changed. Because even before his departure, Scholz responded to the loud criticism of his visit in a guest article in the German newspaper FAZ. Finn Mayer-Kuckuk summarizes the chancellor's key arguments and looks at how China's media interpret his words.
The fact that Olaf Scholz's China visit was so heavily criticized beforehand is mainly due to the timing just after the Party Congress. Kai Mueller of the International Campaign for Tibet shares the criticism: Germany is obligated to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The chancellor of such a country must maintain a distance from those who fight these values, Mueller writes in today's Opinion. He accuses both business and politics of being irresponsible and opportunistic. He demands a progressive human rights policy and hopes it will make its way into the German government's new China strategy next spring.
A sign of extraordinary courage was the action of a man in Beijing who unfurled banners with critical slogans on the railings of the Sitong Bridge just before the Party Congress. The man's fate is unknown, but his message lives on. Marcel Grzanna writes about the Bridge Man's legacy. He identified a wave of protests at international universities inspired by the protest at the bridge.