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Markus Lanz (ZDF): Green Minister of the Environment talks about the Olympics in Beijing

The Winter Olympics in Beijing are about to begin. Reason enough for Markus Lanz to make China a topic in his ZDF talk.

Hamburg – New year, new crises, but Markus Lanz on ZDF did not discuss Russia, but above all the future dominant world power China. Corona is rampant there and the Olympic Games will soon begin.

Markus Lanz’s show on ZDF also began in China, and Ulf Röller, head of the ZDF East Asia studio, was on from Beijing, who began with an assessment of the corona situation in China. “Democracy with Chinese characteristics” has so far been proud of how well it has come through the pandemic, but now the omicron variant is rampant there too. And that a few weeks before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. With Markus Lanz on ZDF, Ulf Röller gave a picture of the situation, which is characterized by increasingly repressive methods. Even before a lockdown in a small Chinese town with just 13.8 million inhabitants, the authorities do not stop.

Markus Lanz (ZDF) on the fear in China of the Winter Olympics

Fear reigns in China, confirmed Johannes Hano, currently ZDF’s New York correspondent, who worked in Beijing from 2007 to 2014. “China is ruled by engineers,” when someone in the political center gives an order, provincial officials outdo each other to exceed the plan.

Markus Lanz (ZDF) asked how the Olympic Games should take place under these circumstances. Röller confirmed how much the ruling party will use the sporting event for propaganda purposes. In addition, it is downright ludicrous to have the Winter Games take place in a city that is not known for snow.

The new Green Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, Steffi Lemke, tried to explain how the federal government is reacting to China and the 2022 Olympics. He immediately accused Markus Lanz of answering as if she were a member of the diplomatic service. All too evasively, Lemke tried to use generalities to indicate that the federal government is not aiming to boycott the games, but is planning a certain distance.

Markus Lanz (ZDF) – TV talk from January 18th, 2022 The guests
Steffi Lemke Minister for the Environment (The Greens)
Wolfram Weimer publicist
Ulf Roller journalist
John Hano journalist

That’s far too little, complained Wolfram Weimer, publisher of The European, who accused the government of being too cautious, and said: “The government hasn’t managed to create a spirit of optimism.” connect,” Weimer demanded from Markus Lanz on ZDF, pointing out human rights violations and environmental sins that are the order of the day in China.

However, German industry bosses would not dare to mention the imprisoned Uyghurs or complain about the situation in Hong Kong, because that would ruin their business, explained Ulf Röller. Moreover, the fact that Europe does not speak with one voice and local interests prevent all countries from pulling together makes Europe appear weak in the eyes of China, and only strength could have an effect.

Markus Lanz (ZDF): How does the traffic light behave towards China?

And as if that wasn’t enough, China is also the cause of around 30 percent of global CO² emissions, but is still planning to build an incredible 200 coal-fired power plants. Who is talking to China, Markus Lanz asked the environment minister on ZDF, who thinks it’s great that not only she is talking about the climate, but pretty much every member of the federal government. It is precisely here that the connections to China seem to be greater than in other areas: Despite everything, the Chinese government is also aware of the importance of climate protection.

On the one hand, the fact that the methods of the autocratic system take some getting used to by Western standards, to put it mildly, is that China still manages to change things faster than many Western countries, on the other hand. Arguing about which ministry is involved in climate policy seems petty. Only concerted action by all ministries can change something, which certainly also applies to as close a stance as possible towards China. But the traffic light coalition has only been in power for five weeks, so it’s still a little too early for a final verdict. (Michael Meyns)

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