Scholz’s adviser criticizes the debate over the tank in Germany

“It would be a mistake to throw China and Russia together”

As with Scholz, Plötner does not formulate a precise vision of how German foreign policy should be shaped after this turning point – Russia’s attack on Ukraine from February 24. To this end, the federal government wants to develop a new national security strategy and coordinate it with NATO and the EU. But does Scholz have a similar stance as Secretary of State Baerbock, who promotes a foreign policy based on values?

Scholz with then-Chancellor Angela Merkel in June 2019: An SPD politician defended the policy of his predecessor's Russia.
Scholz with then-Chancellor Angela Merkel in June 2019: An SPD politician defended the policy of his predecessor’s Russia. (Source: Kay Nietfeld / dpa-images)

Doubts about this are at least relevant and are clarified in the debate on a possible Chinese strategy. “It would be a mistake to throw China and Russia in one bag,” Plötner told a DGAP panel. That would be something like a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” It would be wrong to talk about antagonism, because, for example, cooperation with China is important in the fight against the climate crisis, according to the diplomat.

But even here, Scholz’s adviser only seems to be supplying new fuel for the Chancellor’s critics: After all, Chinese President Xi Jinping is behind Putin’s war, blaming NATO for the conflict and massively arming himself with a view of the South China Sea. . If Germany responds only when China attacks Taiwan or Vietnam, the German government will face international criticism for failing to learn from the mistakes in its relations with Putin.

Even Scholz’s advisor is not the world’s best communicator

One thing is clear: the turning point is an important sign of departure for Germany, but it has yet to be shaped from a foreign policy perspective. At least Plötner has no illusions that the West has definitely isolated Russia in the fight for a new global order. “We may have a majority in the UN General Assembly, but it will be easy to calculate that the majority of the world’s population is not behind us,” said Adviser Scholz.

This correct diagnosis shows that, in addition to military support for Ukraine, Germany must conduct numerous negotiations with other countries. However, this also requires a certain commitment in communication, which Scholz and his advisers sometimes lack in this crisis. This has repeatedly led to concerns that could actually be avoided by international partners.

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