Hi guest, Register | Login | Contact Us
Welcome to Phayul.com - Our News Your Views
Wed 16, Oct 2019 08:21 PM (IST)
Search:     powered by Google
 MENU
Home
News
Photo News
Opinions
Statements &
Press Releases

Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Interviews
Travels
Health
Obituaries
News Discussions
News Archives
Download photos from Tibet
 Latest Stories
All Tibetan activists except Tsundue released from jail in Chennai
Tibetan court rules in favor of Penpa Tsering in case no. 20
Dalai Lama urges India’s stewardship in promoting secular ethics in modern education
Respite for Tibetans in Nepal as extradition treaty with China shelved
CTA Prez heads to Prague for 23rd Forum 2000
Tibetan activists arrested at Chennai airport and Xi Jinping’s hotel
India should raise the Tibet issue during Modi-Xi Summit: Former Govt. advisor on Tibet
Indian support group urges release of Tibetan students detained before Xi's visit
NBA defiant as China stops broadcasting games after Hong Kong tweet row
Tibetans in Nepal 'sitting ducks' as China presses Kathmandu to sign extradition treaty
 Latest Photo News
Shrutika Sharma from Nainital, Uttrakhand, wins the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2019, seen with her are first runners up Shalika Rana and second runners up Sapna Devi. Oct. 13, 2019 Phayu Photo: Kunsang Gashon
Nearly 3000 Students from eight countries listened to teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Three day annual teachings for youth began today. June 3, 2019. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is being escorted to the teaching site at Tsuglakhang temple, May 13, 2019. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
more photos »
Advertisement
Merkel defends her policy on Russia and China
IHT[Thursday, November 22, 2007 10:59]
By Judy Dempsey

BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel, under fire from her Social Democratic coalition partners over her handling of human rights in Russia and China, defended her policies Wednesday, saying that as chancellor it was she who decided whom to receive and where.

Her remarks, made to the mass circulation Bild Zeitung, were seen as an attempt to end what is becoming an internal struggle over how to deal with some countries, particularly Russia and China which have close economic relations with Germany despite poor human rights records.

"I wish that everybody in the government will now close ranks on this position," Merkel said. "If we don't, then China's respect for us will certainly not grow."

Merkel received the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, in September in the Chancellery. Since then, China has retaliated by canceling several high-level meetings. It has not, however, taken any measures against Canada, Australia or the United States, whose leaders also met with the Dalai Lama.

China's retaliation, which so far has not affected German business, has been exploited by some inside the leadership of the Social Democrats. As the junior partner in the coalition, the Social Democrats are no longer supporting Merkel's foreign policy, which emphasizes human rights and European values.

Some have gone on the offensive - to the extent that the foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat and now vice chancellor - has several times broken ranks with cabinet policy over Russia and China. He has accused Merkel of seeking headlines in her defense of human rights.

Some legislators said that challenging Merkel on foreign policy, one of her strong points, could backfire for the Social Democrats because her firm stance on human rights has so far been supported by public opinion.

"The Social Democrats, when it comes to foreign policy, are leaving the path of human rights," said Karl-Theodor Guttenberg, a foreign affairs expert for the Christian Social Union, an ally of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party. "This could backfire."

It could also be damaging for the European Union which has been trying to establish a coherent, united policy toward Russia and China. "The disunity inside the German coalition sends completely the wrong signal to other EU member states," Guttenberg said.

But others said Merkel should pursue quiet diplomacy. "It is what we always did," said Hans-Ulrich Klose, the Social Democrat deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag. "In any event, it is time to stop these disputes. They do not help anyone."

In the business community, there is concern that the dispute between Germany and China could escalate. But there is also nostalgia for former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democratic-led government that actively promoted trade ties with Russia and China while disregarding human rights.

Steinmeier, who was Schroder's chief of staff, had to switch policy quickly and support Merkel when he was appointed foreign minister more than two years ago. But this support changed at the Social Democrats' party convention last month. Last week the vice chancellor and labor minister, Franz Müntefering, resigned.

Steinmeier, who is also a vice chairman of the party, said at the convention that Merkel was seeking headlines and gaining little in return by publicly raising human rights and meeting with the Dalai Lama. Martin Jäger, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Wednesday that Steinmeier's speech in Hamburg was for party consumption and had not been made in his role as foreign minister.

Wolfgang Schäuble, the conservative interior minister, said Steinmeier was out of line. His opposition to the meeting between Merkel and the Dalai Lama was "absurd," he said.

"Every German foreign minister had received the Dalai Lama," Schäuble said. "But not Steinmeier."

Steinmeier, the second-most-popular politician after Merkel according to polls, is anxious to improve his standing inside his own party and might challenge Merkel in the 2009 federal election, according to party officials. "Steinmeier has to decide if he is serving Schröder or Merkel. He has not made that clear," Guttenberg said.

Schröder has also stepped up his criticism. He has accused Merkel of being too emotional and said that her past - Merkel was raised in communist East Germany - has influenced her foreign policy. "One can philosophize about an energy policy grounded in values. But the gas is very much needed in the real world," Schröder said last weekend during an annual conference organized by the BMW-Quandt Foundation.

Conservative and even Social Democratic legislators said Schröder's comments were in poor taste and carried no credibility because he was on the payroll of Gazprom, Russia's giant state-owned energy company which is building a Russia-German gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea. "A former No. 1 should not criticize the present No. 1," Klose said.
Print Send Bookmark and Share
  Readers' Comments »
Oppurtunist and double crossing! (Tseta)
Your Comments

 Other Stories
Prepare for peaceful 21st century, Dalai Lama tells Japanese youngsters
UNPO Condemns Lack of Free Speech In Tibet
China condemns Dalai Lama remarks
Seminar on India's role in resolving the issue of Tibet held
China to allow US carrier into Hong Kong
Merkel defends her policy on Russia and China
China blocks US aircraft carrier Thanksgiving visit
Advertisement
Advertisement
Photo Galleries
Advertisement
Phayul.com does not endorse the advertisements placed on the site. It does not have any control over the google ads. Please send the URL of the ads if found objectionable to editor@phayul.com
Copyright © 2004-2019 Phayul.com   feedback | advertise | contact us
Powered by Lateng Online
Advertisement