Cooperation

China summons German envoy after foreign minister calls Xi a dictator


China summoned the German ambassador to condemn German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s recent description on US television of President Xi Jinping as a dictator.

The German Foreign Office in Berlin confirmed on Monday evening that Ambassador Patricia Flor had been summoned for a meeting on Sunday.

During an interview with US network Fox News on September 14, while she was in Texas, Baerbock commented on Russia’s war in Ukraine and about Russian President Vladimir Putin. She said: “If Putin were to win this war, what sign would that be for other dictators in the world, like Xi, like the Chinese president?”

Baerbock added: “Therefore Ukraine has to win this war. Freedom and democracy have to win.”

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning in Beijing on Monday. Photo: EPA-EFE

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said in Beijing on Monday that the remarks were “extremely absurd, seriously infringing on China’s political dignity, and are an open political provocation.”

Mao added that China disagreed with Baerbock’s comments on Xi and had contacted Germany through diplomatic channels to address the issue.

Asked about the incident on the sidelines of meetings at the United Nations in New York, Baerbock said only that she had “taken note of” Beijing’s reaction.

She refused to comment in more detail when asked by reporters.

‘Warrior queen’ Baerbock makes her last stand against Beijing

Diplomatic relations have been tense between the two trading partners.

This summer, the German government announced its first-ever China strategy document which calls for reducing Germany’s dependence on China.

However, the government says it does not want to “decouple” from the world’s second-largest economy, as China is extremely important to Germany’s export-oriented economy.

China’s Foreign Ministry said Germany’s new China strategy was “counterproductive.”



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