China acts as an enemy to many countries and not as nice a country as we thought it to be, said Chief of German Navy, Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schonbach on Friday. During a question and answer session at New Delhi based think tank, the German Navy Chief said, “I am not scared to say that China acts as an enemy to many countries but not to ours. The first step is to accept is what China is doing even in Africa or elsewhere.” Answering a question over the new German coalition government’s outlook towards China, he said, “Merkel was always in favour of China, but later realized how it had a hidden agenda.
“Merkel was saying that we will go for the 5G technology of Huawei, we have no problem if China is building new infrastructure in Germany, we have no problem with China buying robotics or whatever — not realizing what this means to other countries,” he said.
Explaining how China shrewdly acquired a German robotics company, Vice Admiral Schonbach said, “Kuka robotics, a front runner in Europe was sold to a so-called private company in China. We experienced a backlash. The whole technology was gone and we see China is not paying back.”
“China is not the nice country we thought of,” the German Navy Chief said while stressing that “China is more than a rival.”
When asked a question on the EU’s Global Gateway strategy that plans to support infrastructure development which is often seen as a response to China’s BRI, German Vice Admiral slammed the nature of Chinese lending in African countries. He also criticised Beijing for burdening developing countries with debt and putting money in projects where the possibility of return on investment is zero.
“Who is working at the infrastructure — Chinese workers. Who is controlling those infrastructure Chinese, who is installing the CCTV camera for controlling your societies — it’s China,” he said while recalling his talks with leaders of the African countries. German Navy Chief further added that China is giving money to dictators, killers, to criminals in exchange for their resources.
During his India visit, the Chief of German Navy on Friday called on Admiral R Hari Kumar CNS at New Delhi and discussed avenues to strengthen Navy to Navy cooperation and enhance interoperability.
During the discussions, the Naval Chiefs agreed to step up the cooperation between two Navies through enhanced operational engagements, training interactions, Subject Matter Expert Exchanges and collaboration in the field of defence technology.