New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With China's aggressive behaviour rattling countries across the world, Germany has decided to shift its focus on forging stronger partnerships with democracies in the region such as India, Japan as part of its Indo-pacific strategy. Berlin's outreach in the region comes amid a rising sense of alarm throughout Europe about economic dependence on China and Beijing's track record on human rights, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

Earlier this month, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued a 40-page policy guideline document for the Indo-Pacific region called ‘Germany-Europe-Asia: Shaping the 21st Century Together’.

In a veiled reference to China, Maas said, Berlin wants to help shape [the future global order] so that it is based on rules and international cooperation, not on the law of the strong.

He said Germany has intensified cooperation with “countries that share our democratic and liberal values.” 

The strategy also contains veiled but firm criticism of Chinese actions in the South China Sea and its fallout on global trade in what mirrors India’s position on the issue.

The India-Pacific strategy has been welcomed by other countries including India, Japan, Australia and ASEAN members. According to Nikkei Asian Review, China had been Germany's diplomatic focal point in Asia, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel visiting the country almost yearly.

Notably, China had been at the centre of Berlin's diplomatic focus in Asia with the communist state accounting for 50% of Germany's trade in the India-Pacific region. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had visited the country almost every year to boost economic ties. However, economic growth has not opened the Chinese market for Germany.  German companies operating there have been forced to hand over technology by China's government. Even negotiations for an investment treaty between the European Union and China to address such issues have been stalled.

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha