Discussion Event in Honor of Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt

Event: Society and Politics

FES Shanghai and the Hamburg Liaison Office (HLO) Shanghai jointly organized a film and discussion evening on the 6th of April 2016 at the Hamburg House Restaurant in honor of Helmut Schmidt who passed away in early November 2015.

Hardly any other statesman in the Western World dealt more profoundly with the history and development of China than the former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt (* 1918; † 2015). For almost forty years he encouraged a close and intensive exchange of views with the leadership in Beijing and significantly influenced the Sino-German relationship.

It is against this backdrop, that the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Shanghai and the Hamburg Liaison Office (HLO) Shanghai jointly organized a film and discussion evening on the 06th of April 2016 at the Hamburg House Restaurant in honor of Helmut Schmidt who passed away in early November 2015. Helmut Schmidt’s political life as well as his ties and friendship with China were subject matter of the documentary „China Visionaries – Helmut Schmidt” and the following discussion.

Subsequent to the reception and welcoming of numerous partners and friends of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Shanghai and the Hamburg Liaison Office by HLO director Lars Anke, the producer of the movie Ms Guan Shunying introduced her documentary and emphasized her personal encounter with Helmuth Schmidt during the shooting. After the movie, the German Consul General Peter Rothen, the journalist Frank Sieren (author of the book “Helmut Schmidt - Neighbor China”) and Stefan Pantekoek, Resident Representative of FES Shanghai discussed about Helmut Schmidt, his work in and contribution to China and the Sino-German relations in general. The debate focused on questions concerning Helmut Schmidt’s legacy in regard to his foreign affairs policy and his importance for the German public opinion on China.

Among the questions from the audience a tricky one was how Helmut Schmidt would have handled the refugee situation in Europe if he would still be chancellor. The consistently fruitful evening ended with a get-together to continue the discussion on topics addressed by the panel in a pleasant and cheerful atmosphere.

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