Last December, when Chancellor Angela Merkel was pushing the European Union to conclude an investment deal with China, forceful pushback came from only one political party in Germany—the Greens.
In a rare moment of drama in the Bundestag, Greens lawmaker Margarete Bause pressed Merkel to explain her hurried push for the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) at a time when China was suppressing the Uighurs in Xinjiang and crushing democracy in Hong Kong. Merkel offered a few lines in response about the need to remain in dialogue with China’s leaders and strike a balance between values and interests. Two weeks later, she signed off on the investment deal in a videoconference with President Xi Jinping. Beijing had refused to make any binding commitments to end forced labor, and within days of the deal, it rounded up 55 pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong in a series of dawn raids.