Interview with Eberhard Sandschneider + BYD surpasses Tesla + Patricia Flor takes office
Germany's highest diplomatic post in China stood vacant for around ten months. Now, there is once again a representative in Beijing: Ambassador Patricia Flor handed over her accreditation papers at the Foreign Ministry on Friday. On social media, the diplomat presented herself for the first time in Mandarin and English in an introduction video. What issues Flor plans to tackle, you can find out in today's News section. One thing is already clear: The 60-year-old is taking up her new job in politically highly tense times – geopolitically, but also in the People's Republic itself.
This is because the leadership will reorganize itself at the CCP National Congress this fall. But the hot phase has already begun. Michael Radunski spoke with political scientist Eberhard Sandschneider, who stressed that the decisions about who will get which post have long been made before the National Congress. Sandschneider explains which problems Xi Jinping faces before the big political showdown and which goals he is pursuing: "Xi is the great moderator, not the great autocrat." The growing discontent among the population over the ongoing strict Covid measures is not leaving Xi unfazed, either, believes Sandschneider.
The harsh Covid lockdown in Shanghai is partly the reason why the Chinese manufacturer BYD has now overtaken Tesla. BYD builds the majority of its vehicles in Shenzhen in southern China, which was less affected by the Covid measures than Shanghai, where Tesla operates. But that's not the only reason for the overtaking maneuver from Shenzhen, as our author team in China notes: BYD has also caught up technologically.