The Greens a “right-wing party”? In China’s press already. The background: China wants to drive a wedge between the countries of the West and their governments. Being right-wing extremist, “far right”, in the Chinese context is also a reference to the past .

A Chinese state media recently called the German Greens a “right-wing party” (the text said “far right”, i.e. far right or right-wing extremist), causing reactions ranging from surprise to displeasure. Germany’s Eco Party is clearly positioned on the left spectrum; being described as right-wing is likely to be viewed by the Greens and their supporters as an insult.

The statement in the English-language edition of the “Global Times” was probably meant as such. The text referred to the visit of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to the People’s Republic. Scholz had in fact taken the Green Party with him Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck and the Green Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Both politicians have attracted negative attention in the past because of criticism of China. The Chancellor’s visit, who came to Beijing as a supplicant, should not be accompanied by critical statements and questions about the terrible situation Human rights are overshadowed in Xi’s empire.

Alexander Görlach is an honorary professor of ethics at Leuphana University in Lüneburg and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York. After a stay in Taiwan and Hong Kong, he focused on the rise of China and what it means for democracies in East Asia in particular. From 2009 to 2015, Alexander Görlach was also the publisher and editor-in-chief of the debate magazine The European, which he founded. Today he is a columnist and author for various media. He lives in New York and Berlin.

The text mentioned the Chancellor’s quarrel with the Greens: “While Scholz recently visited China and made many positive agreements, the German foreign and economic ministries controlled by the right-wing Greens were at odds with the Social Democratic Party led by Scholz.” The Chancellor had already in In the past, it took a cozy course with Beijing in the hope of gaining access to the most important market for German companies such as Volkswagen and BASF. But Scholz and the business bosses he had in his entourage didn’t mind Beijing one bit. Rather, it is feared that Beijing will continue to flood the international market with heavily discounted electric cars, batteries and solar panels, thereby putting Germany under pressure.

The reason for this fear is Xi Jinping’s visit to Europe last week. In Paris he also met French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Xi also dismissed these two top politicians without further ado.

In large and small ways, Xi and his party nomenklatura are stubborn and persistent in driving wedges between Western countries. This becomes visible in Xi’s choice of travel destinations: France, Serbia and Hungary, whose political leaders the Chinese president wants to draw more closely into his orbit. This is also visible in how he wants to drive a wedge between the governing parties in the Berlin coalition.

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Being right-wing extremist, “far right,” in the Chinese context is also a reference to the Kuomintang Party, the nationalist party that proclaimed the Republic of China in 1912. This party was defeated by the Chinese Communist Party at the end of the civil war in 1949. They withdrew with their leader Chiang Kei-Chek to the island of Taiwan and established a military dictatorship there that lasted until the late 1980s and early 1990s. Associating the Green Party with the nationalists is intended to make it clear to the Chinese population that the Eco Party represents a danger to the People’s Republic.

The latest hate attack on Baerbock is also about Taiwan. The Foreign Minister indicated, in accordance with international law, that a German frigate could also be sent through the Taiwan Strait. The People’s Republic maintains that Taiwan is part of China, even though the Chinese Communist Party has never ruled the now-democratic island. This also means that Beijing’s rulers are claiming the waterway that separates free Taiwan from Xi’s dictatorship. France and other allies of Taiwan have already sent warships there, and Germany has also sent a frigate in the past.

Xi Jinping claims that neo-colonial, neo-imperial powers want to prevent the rise of the People’s Republic. With this rhetoric, which is also vehemently directed against foreigners, the Beijing nomenklatura is trying to distract from its own economic failure.

The Greens are now, quite unusually for this left-wing eco-party, seen in China as a nationalist colonial force that supposedly wants to harm Beijing. This may annoy Scholz, a friend of China, but the Greens can be happy about the fact that people in Beijing are not amused by their stand up for human dignity.