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International relations

Germany hardens China stance, echoing EU's 'systemic rival' label

Joint projects likely to be affected as new government breaks with Merkel era

The German flag flies near Beijing's Tiananmen Gate during then-Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit in 2019.   © Reuters

HAMBURG, Germany -- The German foreign ministry is poised to send a paper to other government departments urging them to regard China as a "systemic rival," as the new Olaf Scholz administration breaks with longtime Chancellor Angela Merkel's nonconfrontational approach.

The ministry's plan, confirmed to Nikkei Asia by high-ranking German politicians, would make official key China-related points in a coalition agreement Germany's three ruling parties signed after their election win over Merkel's Christian Democratic Union last September, much to Beijing's displeasure.

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