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“ There is less enthusiasm about framing the relations with China as Cold War 2.0. Germany has a huge chunk of its economy wrapped around China. So rival or competitor, it will be a challenge to get in sync with the U.S. in a more direct challenging mode.
“ The US has been keen to touch base with New Zealand on issues including China, supply chain resilience, the Pacific Islands and South East Asia. It is always really good to reconnect, to have officials sit down in person and talk about the challenges and opportunities especially where there is so much taking place in the world.
“ The language on China is the strongest ever to appear in a German coalition agreement, reflecting growing concerns about the direction of China under Xi Jinping. The mentions of issues considered to be “red lines” by the ruling Chinese Communist Party shows a readiness to speak more openly about differences with Beijing.
“ China will likely respond in some way, but it will not lead to a major setback in the relationship. Taiwan will not be referred to as a country, its president will not participate.
“ But with so many fires burning on the international stage and some structural geopolitical shifts underway, circumstances — and his more hawkish coalition partners — might force [Olaf Scholz]’s hand.
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