Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Olaf Scholz is undermining Western unity on China

By Fergus Hunter and Daria Impiombato

23 Nov 2022 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

A detailed and cutting analysis in FP: The German chancellor is taking a go-it-alone approach toward building economic ties with China even as Germany’s allies warn against economic overreliance.

“Political leaders should have the serenity to accept the things they cannot change, the courage to change the things they can change, and the wisdom to distinguish between the two.”

This is how Chinese President Xi Jinping set the terms of his meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing earlier this month, invoking the late West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who was apparently a fan of American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Serenity Prayer.”

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