China is a country of significant global standing with which Germany can and must cooperate for the benefit of both countries and with a view to resolving global issues. Germany’s relationship with China is often characterized by misperceptions, prejudices and ignorance, however, so deeper mutual understanding is the key to successful cooperation in important areas – without which it will be virtually impossible to overcome global challenges.

China’s rapid rise to global power status has significant consequences for world politics and for the world’s economy, after all: for some years now it has been shifting the power structures in a way that also affects Europe and Germany and presents us with new international challenges. China’s continual striving for economic growth not only accelerates the consumption of raw materials and other vital resources, it also increases China’s political influence. International relations are influenced by uncertainty about the goals of Chinese domestic and foreign policy.

The wide range of different factors – and above all the economic ties – that link China and the West has given rise to complex interdependencies between the two. Although this presents opportunities, it also has the potential to create conflict. Different ideas about questions of climate mitigation or human rights policy further complicate the situation. Wherever the focus lies, China’s stable and sustainable development will be crucial to the peaceful and sustainable development of the entire world. Global problems can no longer be resolved without China nor against its will.