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Asia Insight

China's European outreach hits a wall in Germany

Investment falls as Berlin backlash hampers Belt and Road

JENS KASTNER, contributing writer, and MITSURU OBE, Nikkei staff writer | China

BREMEN, Germany/TOKYO -- The German tabloid Bild has a reputation for being staunchly pro-American, but one particular article left a Chinese diplomat in shock.

The newspaper had blasted the Federal Association of the German Silk Road Initiative, or BVDSI, for unscrupulously teaming up with China despite its "aggressive economic policy" and "blatant human rights abuses." This struck a nerve in Du Xiaohui, the Chinese consul general in Hamburg, who complained at the association's launch event that some Germans have a "sick immune system" that makes them allergic to their country's largest trade partner for the three years through 2018.

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