The Merkel era is drawing to a close. The German General elections are scheduled to take place in three months, before the new Chancellor will move into office in the fall. The extent to which a future Chancellor Laschet of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) or a future Chancellor Baerbock (Greens) will change Germany's China policy is speculation at this point. Looking into the manifestos of the German parties will give voters some insight into what the future might hold. This time, China plays a bigger role in the lead up to the election. What is new is the parties’ inclusion of their China policy, some even devoted an entire chapter or a long paragraph to it.
Almost all parties are taking a critical look at China, with a focus on topics such as geostrategic challenges, market access conditions and the human rights situation. And yet all parties emphasize different points. While the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) mainly emphasize the foreign and security policy challenges that China pose, the Greens focus on the human rights situation and the need for a climate dialogue.