China, Russia, diplomacy: offensive German Greens

It is not necessarily on this ground that we expected it first. Since her nomination as the Greens’ candidate for the chancellery on April 19, Annalena Baerbock has increased her interventions on foreign and defense policy issues: long interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 24; address to the Federal Academy for Advanced Security Studies, May 3, in Berlin; interview with the famous American journalist Fareed Zakaria, during a forum organized by the Atlantic Council, on May 6.

The fact that these subjects occupy such an important place in the start of the campaign of the candidate of the Greens is significant. This must undoubtedly be seen on her part as the will to respond to her opponents, who keep repeating that her age – she is 40 years old – and her CV – she is only a member of Parliament and has never been a minister – in make a contender for the chancellery too little capped to negotiate on an equal footing with a Vladimir Putin or a Xi Jinping.

It prevents. If her ideas on foreign policy arouse such curiosity, it is precisely because Annalena Baerbock has a real chance of succeeding Angela Merkel after the general elections of September 26. And if they enter government, the Greens have every intention of redefining Germany’s role on the international stage.

It is first vis-à-vis Moscow and Beijing that they intend to break with the policy of Angela Merkel, considered too conciliatory. Seeing in China a “Systemic rival” of Europe, the leader of environmentalists wants the European Union (EU) to undertake in particular to no longer import “Products of forced labor”. A reference to the situation of the Uighurs, one of whose most ardent defenders is German environmentalist Reinhard Bütikofer, one of the five MEPs recently sanctioned by Beijing for their support for the Muslim minority in Xinjiang.

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The “contradictions” of Nord Stream 2

On Russia, “We need to exert more pressure” in order to better protect countries like Ukraine and Belarus, says Annalena Baerbock.

Unlike her two main opponents, the conservative Armin Laschet (CDU) and the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz (SPD), the Greens candidate also wants to put a stop to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which connects the Russia to Germany via the Baltic and whose work is 95% complete. “This pipeline is in contradiction with our sanctions, so it cannot work”, she assures.

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