The West must help Ukraine win its conflict against Russia to deter people like the Chinese leader, Annalena Baerbock said.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator,” warning that a Russian victory in the Ukraine conflict could embolden leaders like him.
In an interview with Fox News published Thursday, Baerbock was asked for his views on how Berlin and the West viewed an end to hostilities between kyiv and Moscow. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the only possible outcome “Freedom and peace in Ukraine”.
“Because if (Russian President Vladimir) Putin won this war, what sign would that be for the other dictators of the world? Like Xi, the Chinese president? This is why Ukraine must win this war.” she said, reiterating Germany’s commitment to supporting kyiv to “as long as it takes.”
China’s Foreign Ministry has not yet commented on the remarks.
Baerbock is not the first Western leader to openly call Xi a “‘dictator” These last months. In June, US President Joe Biden made a similar statement following an incident involving a Chinese balloon that strayed into US airspace and was shot down by a US fighter jet earlier this year. While Washington claimed the ship was spying on US military installations, Beijing denied the allegation, saying it veered off course due to “factors of force majeure”.
“It is a great embarrassment for the dictators. When they didn’t know what happened. That (ball) wasn’t supposed to go where it was. Biden said at the time. His remarks drew sharp criticism from Beijing, which called them “extremely absurd and irresponsible.”
Baerbock’s comments also come after the German government published its first-ever “China Strategy” in July, which called for a change in its approach to Beijing. The document emphasizes reducing the country’s dependence on China – Germany’s main trading partner – in a number of areas. “critical sectors” including drugs, lithium batteries and elements used in chip manufacturing.
While recognizing that China remains Germany’s key partner in combating climate change and promoting sustainable development, Berlin expressed concerns over what it called Beijing’s increasingly assertive policies and his attempts to “reshape the existing rules-based international order”.
In April, Baerbock warned Europe not to turn a blind eye to tensions between Beijing and Taiwan – a self-governing island that China considers part of its sovereign territory – stressing that this could lead to a “worst case scenario” for the global economy.
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