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Home / New Series no. 31/2017 / RAFAL ULATOWSKI, Germany-China relations under Angela Merkel. The role of China in German foreign policy (Relaţiile germane-chineze în timpul Angelei Merkel. Rolul Chinei în politica externă a Germaniei)

RAFAL ULATOWSKI, Germany-China relations under Angela Merkel. The role of China in German foreign policy (Relaţiile germane-chineze în timpul Angelei Merkel. Rolul Chinei în politica externă a Germaniei)

RAFAŁ ULATOWSKI
Assistant Professor, PhD, Institute of International Relations, Faculty of Journalism and Political Science, Warsaw University, Poland;
E-mail: r.ulatowski@interia.pl

Abstract
The goal of this paper is to evaluate the development of Germany-China relations during Angela Merkel’s three terms as chancellor (2005–2017). I argue that Germany-China relations during the three terms of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship can be divided into three periods. In the first one, which lasted from 2005 until the outbreak of the global financial crisis, Germany tried to integrate human rights issues into its policy toward China. In the second period, which lasted from the outbreak of the crisis until 2015, China was seen as a market for German exporters and investors offering German companies unlimited growth opportunities. But in 2016, the picture changed. Germany-China relations moved into the third period. Chinese companies are expanding in Germany, taking over high-tech companies and making it clear to the government that China is not only an opportunity but also a challenge for the German economy. At the same time, the hopes for equal treatment of foreign companies and their local competitors in the Chinese market have not materialized. Furthermore, Chinese foreign policy has been changing fast, and China strives to be perceived as a defender of free trade and globalization, while at the same time building new global and regional institutions. The relations between China and Germany evolve towards becoming more complicated and multidimensional.

Keywords
China, Germany, special relationship, economy, dependence

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