China Visit of Former Member of the German Parliament and Head of the German-Chinese parliamentary group Johannes Pflug

Event: Regional and International Affairs

Former Member of the German Parliament and Head of the German-Chinese parliamentary group Johannes Pflug visited Beijing last week. During his stay in the capital he met with several Chinese experts in the fields of foreign policy, security policy and Sino-German relations.

Johannes Pflug and Deputy Director-Gerneral of the Department of European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wang Shunqing

When Johannes Pflug visited China for the first time he experienced an in many respects entirely different China. In 1982, he was member of the first Sino-German twin-town delegation, and since then became a well-known expert of the region. Although Johannes Pflug left the German Bundestag in 2013 – after eighteen years as member of the state-parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia and fifteen years as member of the Bundestag – he is still intensely engaged in promoting the Sino-German exchange of ideas and perceptions.

During his visit in mid-September he met several Chinese experts, not only politicians and former diplomats but also academics and students. His talk at the Beijing Foreign Studies University about German-Sino relations and Germany’s new role in the international arena ignited an open and controversial discussion among the attending students, teachers and Johannes Pflug himself. The students were particular interested in how Germany will deal with the European refugee crisis and how this crisis will possibly shape the European Union and its member states in the future.

While the exchanges with Ms. Bian Xiaochun and Prof. Dr. Lian Yuru on recent developments on the Korean Peninsula and the perception of the EU and Germany in China had an academic approach to both topics. Mr. Pflug’s personal discussions with Ma Canrong and Mei Zhaorong offered somewhat more individual insights and reflections on current and previous developments in China’s and Germany’s foreign and security policy. And his visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he was received by Wang Shunqing, emphasized the interest of both sides in deepening the Sino-German foreign policy exchange. Throughout the various discussion sessions during Johannes Pflug’s stay in Beijing, he continuously underlined the strong partnership between both countries and the important future role of Germany as a mediator and consultant on the international stage. Having in mind the post-WW2 history of Europe and conflict preventing institutions like the OSCE, he suggested the establishment of several international organizations to deepen mutual exchange amongst the countries of Asia.

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