What is China's economic plan

Sigmar Gabriel met the artist Zeng Fanzhi sometime in Berlin. Now the German Minister of Economic Affairs is standing in the middle of Zeng's exhibition in Beijing - and must first explain himself. The conversation with the Minister of Commerce should not have taken place? "How did you come up with the idea?" Asks Gabriel back. The conversation was "completely normal". If one can speak of normality, in these special days of German-Chinese relations.

The art and the world famous artist have to wait now, because the confusion is great. On Monday, the day before departure, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had tackled the German ambassador in Beijing. There is resentment about Berlin, after all, Chinese investors want to get into German companies on a large scale, but they encounter reservations that extend to the federal government.

Then put the state Global Times and warned: Gabriel should be careful not to derail German-Chinese relations. "We hope Gabriel will improve his understanding of China through this visit," said the comment smugly.

On Tuesday, Gabriel is visiting Beijing, including opening a conference with Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng. But when the two are half an hour ahead of time, their name tags are meekly removed. No more talk from the two of them today. The conversation with the Minister of Commerce, as it will later be said, was simply so stimulating that there was not enough time for the conference.

The OECD classifies China as the most restrictive industrialized country

If you believe the participants in the conversation, the plaintext in particular took up time. Gabriel complained that China was artificially lowering the price of steel, much to the chagrin of German smelters too. There are also too many hurdles for German investors in China. Foreign companies are prohibited from taking over media companies, telecommunications groups or banks.

The OECD therefore classifies China as the most restrictive industrialized country: 59th place out of 59 countries. Recently, German companies have often looked down the drain when it comes to public contracts. The German embassy in Beijing was barely able to keep up with handling complaints from German companies in China.

"The Chinese Embassy in Berlin would be very busy if the Foreign Office called in the envoy straight away because of any hindrance to a German company in China," says Jörg Wuttke, President of the European Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.