Annalena Baerbock has claimed Beijing is using infrastructure investments as political leverage
© Getty Images / Oleksii Liskonih
Germany will develop a new China strategy in the coming months, the country’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, announced on Friday.
Baerbock cited China’s Belt and Road Initiative, arguing that it illustrated why investments in infrastructure were security-related. Issues of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and international law were increasingly prominent in African and South Asian countries, where China had invested heavily in local grids and power plants, she said.
The diplomat went on to stress that the European concept of sovereignty, in contrast, postulated “cooperation where possible and autonomy where necessary.” She added that nations “can only act autonomously when they are not completely dependent on others.” The statement was part of a broader announcement of Germany’s new national security strategy.
Unsurprisingly, Russia’s military action against Ukraine came very much to the fore during Baerbock’s speech. The minister said none of the German officials who had been working on the strategy could have imagined that the Russian president would “attack his neighbor.” She accused Moscow of breaking “our peace order in Europe” as well as the “charter of the United Nations.” In light of that, Germany must more assertively implement some of the core principles “that lead us,” she proclaimed.