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China: Diplomacy Must Rise to the Level of the Crisis

Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets Chinese President Xi Jinping. Credit: Bundesregierung/Kugler

April 16, 2024 (EIRNS)—Even if China did not mean to send a special message to Washington, the content of Xi Jinping’s statement included by China’s U.S. Embassy, on the type of diplomacy President Xi Jinping conducted with Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz was hard to miss. Beginning with an echo of a famous opening line by Charles Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities ("It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."), Xi said: “Currently, transformation not seen in a century is accelerating across the globe, and humanity faces growing risks and challenges.”

Xi then explained why the well-intentioned actions of even two friendly countries aren’t good enough: “These problems can only be resolved through major-country cooperation. As China and Germany are respectively the second and third largest economies in the world, the consolidation and development of their relations carries significance that goes beyond the bilateral scope and has a major impact on the Eurasian continent and the entire world. The two countries need to view and develop bilateral relations from a long-term and strategic perspective and work together to inject greater stability and certainty into the world.”

So, the two countries are particularly equipped, by the combined size of their economies, to address the “growing risks and challenges” facing humanity. But there’s more: “President Xi underscored that both China and Germany have made major contributions to the progress of human civilization.” That is, while every country can and has made contributions to the progress of human civilization, the China of Confucius and the Germany of Beethoven and Schiller, hold a special place in the universal human culture. And because this is the case, the “two countries do not have clashing fundamental interests between them and pose no security threat to each other.”

Next: “Cooperation between China and Germany benefits not just the two sides but also the world at large.” That’s clear enough, but now, “to whom much is given, much is required”—or, as Xi’s statement reads: “The more instability in the world, the greater the need for the two sides to strengthen the resilience and vitality of their relations, keep to the overall direction of cooperation and development in growing bilateral ties, and stick to the characterization of all-round strategic partnership…. The two sides need to continue engaging in close exchanges with an open mind and enhance strategic mutual trust. As long as the two sides uphold mutual respect, seek common ground while reserving differences, enhance exchanges and mutual learning, and pursue win-win cooperation, China-Germany relations will continue to enjoy solid and sustained progress.”

The Foreign Ministry accompanied Xi’s statement with a photo of Xi and Scholz on a walk in a beautiful garden. Besides the walk, their five hours together included their working session and a lunch.

In a perhaps related development, China’s CGTN posted two excerpts from the April 13 Schiller Institute conference, from the first panel by Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the second panel by Jason Ross.