CDU leader Friedrich Merz has accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) of unprecedented disrespect in his political work.
"We have never had a chancellor in Germany who treated his coalition partners with such disrespect, treated the institutions of our state with such disrespect, treated our neighbors with such disrespect, treated our international partners around the world with such disrespect." , said Merz on Saturday in his speech at the CSU party conference in Augsburg.
Merz accused the entire federal government of not showing enough respect to Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. At Steinmeier's speech on the major challenges of this time on Friday in Bellevue Palace, not a parliamentary group leader from the incumbent government was present, and not a member of the federal government found it necessary to be present. "It's a level of disrespect for our head of state that I didn't think was possible."
Merz criticizes the timing of Scholz's trip to China
Merz also criticized Scholz's planned trip to China and again called for a review of Germany's relationship with the country. "He couldn't drive at a worse time," he told the "Augsburger Allgemeine" with a view to Scholz' trip next Friday.
With regard to the federal government's decision to have China enter a container terminal in the port of Hamburg, Merz said that the chancellor apparently still believes in the theory of change through trade. "He lacks the willingness to reassess the risks to which we are exposed," criticized the Union faction leader.
"And now, of all times, he's flying to China, a week after this Communist Party congress, where military violence against Taiwan was openly threatened and Xi Jinping's predecessor was taken out of the hall in full view of the world public."
Merz warns against Chinese propaganda
The Chinese government will exploit the chancellor's visit "together with the gift of further participation in the port as confirmation of their course for propaganda purposes," warned Merz.
He pointed out that the coalition itself had announced a new China strategy for spring. "It would have been right to only travel to China afterwards. The war against Ukraine and China's unilateral side in favor of Russia make it even more urgent to review our relationship with China," he emphasized. "The turning point also includes a new look at China."
Instead, the Chinese Communist Party "now has a complete overview of trade flows in Europe through its holdings in European ports." With a view to resistance within the traffic light government, he said: "Scholz's lonely decision was a serious strategic mistake."