Normal China-Germany deals shouldn’t be hurt by bias
Published: Nov 16, 2022 09:47 PM
Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

Some German politicians recently criticized the country's Ministry of the Interior's listing of specific products of Chinese drone manufacturer DJI in its bidding documents for the purchase of drones for disaster relief, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported on Tuesday.

While acknowledging the usefulness of using drones in the field of disaster prevention, some opponents of the deal demanded the immediate termination of the planned transaction, citing so-called security concerns based on "DJI having ties to the Chinese military," a groundless accusation used by the US to blacklist the company in October.

At a time when the business communities from both China and Germany feel encouraged by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's recent China visit that promotes bilateral relations to increase trust, clear doubts and deepen cooperation, Germany's normal procurement of products from legal and compliant Chinese companies should not be disrupted by politically biased noises, especially those who blindly follow the US' baseless accusation and reckless crackdown on China's tech development.

In fact, the reason why Germany's Ministry of the Interior chose DJI products this time is due to factors such as equipment function and cost performance. According to DW, when explaining why specific DJI products were specified in the bidding document, a spokesman for the German Ministry of the Interior said that the functions of this type of drones are exactly in line with the country's disaster relief demands.

According to public information, DJI is a leading civilian drone manufacturer in the world, with a global market share of 76 percent. Government agencies in many countries have used DJI drones. Even as the US has adopted multiple rounds of restrictive measures against DJI with groundless accusation, some US government departments are still using DJI drones, according to media reports. 

Ensuring that normal economic and trade exchanges with China are not affected by politicization, especially by US lobbying, is beneficial and not harmful to the German economy and the economic and trade cooperation between China and Germany.

The close integration of Chinese and German businesses in past many years has shored up both economies. In 2021, the trade volume between China and Germany reached $235 billion, according to Chinese customs data, and China has remained Germany's largest trading partner for six consecutive years. Although the COVID-19 epidemic has had a certain impact on China-German trade, many German businesses retain a high degree of confidence in the Chinese market.

At present, Germany is grappling with a string of economic challenges, including an elevated double-digit inflation, an acute energy crisis, and a likely recession. German think tank Kiel Institute for the World Economy in September warned that during next year, the German economy is expected to contract by 0.7 percent, and the inflation rate is expected to reach 8.7 percent.

To disrupt normal business exchanges and trade between the two sides with the so-called "security concerns" is obviously harmful to the German economy and enterprises, especially when the German economy is facing multiple risks. This will only worsen Germany's surging inflation and employment situation, and aggravate its current economic difficulties.

We believe that it is not the mainstream view in Germany to attempt to restrict everything related to China and hope those who hold biased views toward China will abandon their prejudice and adopt a rational attitude toward Chinese businesses and products, cherish the hard-won friendly atmosphere of deepening economic and trade cooperation, and further promote trade with China to achieve a new high, thus injecting more impetus to support Germany's economic recovery.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.