A commentary recently published in ’Die welt’’ argues that Germany has so far been reliant not only on Russian gas, but also on Chinese solar equipment, and relying on an authoritarian regime is never a good idea. What if the CCP decides to use the renewable energy transition as a bargaining chip?

Hong Kong activist Glacier Kwong, who lives in Hamburg, Germany, commented in Die Welt, pointing out that reliance on dictatorial states is a big problem: “Germany has repeatedly stressed that the risks of Russia’s imported energy are manageable. However, Germany has so far been reliant on Russian gas, Middle East oil, and Chinese solar equipment. Relying on a dictatorship is never a good idea, it may even come at the expense of people’s livelihood, a financial burden on a nation, or risks to national security. Climate activists now want to rapidly expand the use of wind and solar energy. But this is wishful thinking, at least in the short term.

Kwong then cited data released by the German Federal Statistics Office: “In 2021, wind power and photovoltaic power generation will only account for about 30% of Germany’s electricity supply. Those who rely on the solar energy industry are associated with slave labor in Xinjiang. Xinjiang’s polysilicon (a form of high-purity polycrystalline silicon, used as a raw material for the electronics and solar photovoltaic industries) production, accounts for about 45% of the world.”

The article raises a question: “What if Beijing decides to use the renewable energy transition as a bargaining chip, similar to Russia? Will Germany then ignore the production conditions for such products and support forced labor?”

The article pointed out that, at present, it seems that there is no satisfactory solution to Germany’s energy problem; and Germany obviously doesn’t realize that it can’t have both. Freedom and the maintenance of constitutional order do have their costs, and if they don’t pay, Germany will have to sacrifice freedom and rely on dictatorships.”

“The scenario of China’s military exercises around Taiwan looks familiar and scary. Russian President Vladimir Putin assembled troops at the border and said it would conduct a large-scale exercise before ordering the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. But it was all lies.” An opinion piece published by Germany’s  Berliner Morgen Post pointed out that since the Russian invasion, Ukraine has been full of gunpowder, and no one knows how to quell the war: “Chinese President Xi Jinping is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine, but the outside world does not know what conclusions he will draw from it, and whether he will will follow Russia’s example.”

The article argues that fears of war are not just based on warships, tanks, fighter jets, helicopters, and artillery that are participating in military exercises near Taiwan. It is also because CCP leaders have made no secret of their ambitions. Beijing explicitly claims Taiwan is part of Chinese territory.

Author Gudrun Büscher wrote: “There is no doubt that Beijing will not hesitate to use all means, including violence and weapons, at the latest when Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement is violently suppressed. To borrow from CIA Director Burns (William Burns): It’s not a question of whether Chinese leaders will choose to use force to control Taiwan, but when will they.”

The commentary titled “China-Taiwan conflict: The end of all illusions” states that this round of military exercises by China has added fuel to the tense situation in the Taiwan Strait, and a small spark is enough to cause a fire with unimaginable consequences: “By the time of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the latest, people should understand that relying on the principle of hope will not help. If war breaks out and China takes Taiwan by force, it will be miserable, and the impact on the global economy will be greater than the war in Ukraine. The consequences are even more serious. Taiwan is by far the most important semiconductor producer. The global economy is very dependent on semiconductors, and almost every electrical product contains semiconductors. The German economy will also be severely hit, because Germany’s dependence on the Chinese market is in the increasing.”

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