Better to negotiate

Green Party politician Antje Vollmer has warned against a policy of confrontation with the Chinese leadership at the start of the Olympic Games. "The West would be taking on a lot if, in addition to confronting the Islamic world and Russia, it also ventured into a confrontation with China – and thus a country where every fifth inhabitant of the earth lives," the former Bundestag vice president told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.

There is now a ruling class in China that is interested in international cooperation and wants to get along with the West.Vollmer also expressed concern about insufficient knowledge in the West about the country. "China is and usually reacts differently than we are used to," she said. "Only a handful of the journalists who are now covering China, freely and uncensored by the way, have in-depth knowledge of the country and its long, difficult history."Of the politicians now commenting on China, few would have "any real interest in the amazing, contradictory and exciting processes of change that are taking place there".Commenting on the protests by human rights activists, the Green Party politician said they have the right and even the duty to see things unilaterally and to exert public prere. Meanwhile, however, politicians apparently thought it sufficient to merely join a campaign. "This puts you on the front page of the ‘Bild’ newspaper, but the reality remains completely unchanged."Instead, politicians should use the prere "to push through political concepts, to achieve treaties in which concrete rights are formulated," stressed the politician, who has been campaigning for years for a solution to the Tibet question.

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