German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s words were an “open provocation,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said
FILE PHOTO: China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning addresses a press conference, in Beijing, China, on July 26, 2023. © AFP / Pedro Pardo
Beijing has “made serious inquiries” to Berlin over comments made by the country’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after the top diplomat referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “dictator” last week.
China is “extremely dissatisfied” with these remarks, the foreign ministry’s spokesperson, Mao Ning, told a regular news briefing. Mao believes the “absurd” comments “violate China’s political dignity” and are tantamount to an “open political provocation.”
The German Foreign Minister made her remarks in an interview with Fox News released last Thursday. When asked about her take on the ongoing conflict between Kiev and Moscow, Baerbock stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin should not be allowed to win since it would embolden “other dictators in the world” like “Xi, the Chinese president.”
In July, Germany adopted its first-ever strategy on China, which involved reducing its economic reliance on its essentially largest trade partner, which Berlin branded a “rival.” The 40-page document also said that “de-risking” in relations with China was urgently needed.