Interview: Germany should not be involved in trade war with China, says former German chancellor Schroeder

BERLIN, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — Germany should not be involved in a trade war with China in any form and restrictions against China are not the option, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Schroeder responded to the opinions circulated in the political circle and media that Chinese businesses are competitors and Europe should reduce economic dependence on China.

Schroeder said that competition is vital and stimulates business in German market economy.

“That is why competition is not something that should worry us, but something that should be an incentive,” said Schroeder.

He said Germany, as a country with a high technology level, has to be constantly challenged and redeveloped.

Germany-China cooperation remains important because Germany needs the market especially for Germany’s automotive industry and mechanical engineering, he said.

“More and more people are moving towards the fact that we not only want to have the market in China, but also to manufacture there, even for the German medium-sized companies,” Schroeder said.

On Germany’s China policies after the federal election scheduled for Sept. 26, Schroeder said the long-time pragmatic attitude toward China should not be changed.

Germany, he cautioned, should stick to the one-China policy despite global upheavals and under no circumstances should that be changed as there will be “not any good consequences for both China and Germany.”

On the current situation in Afghanistan, Schroeder noted it has sparked discussions within the European Union (EU) about its strategic autonomy.

He said the U.S. hasty withdrawal without consultation with their allies was a “strategic mistake.”

Echoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s earlier remarks, Schroeder said, “EU can no longer rely on our allies as in earlier times.”

“It (the situation in Afghanistan) can’t repeat itself. And it will not repeat itself when Europe becomes more independent in foreign and security policy than it has been up to now,” Schroeder added.

Schroeder, who was the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, served as German chancellor from 1998 to 2005. Enditem