Multiple high-level German delegations visited CCG

April 25 , 2024

From April 14th to 16th this year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made an official visit to China, marking his second visit to the country since taking office. Before, during, and after Chancellor Scholz’s visit, a total of four high-level German delegations, including representatives from the Economic Forum of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), one of Germany’s oldest political parties;  a delegation led by the chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) Foundation in the field of international strategy and security; a senior delegation from one of Germany’s largest political parties, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU); and a delegation of the Körber Foundation, visited the headquarters of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) in Beijing.

At the same time, CCG founder and president Wang Huiyao traveled to the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, Germany, where he participated in the Berlin Moot. He shared insights on topics such as how international actors perceive peacemaking in this era of new geopolitical realities and how to reshape world peace.

With Chancellor Scholz’s visit to China as an opportunity, the exchange and interaction between CCG and the German visiting delegations have contributed to enhancing mutual understanding, trust, and deepening pragmatic cooperation between China and Germany.


Four high-level German delegations visited CCG in succession, discussing various challenges and opportunities for cooperation between China and Germany

Recently, German Chancellor Scholz visited China again after a year and a half, marking the beginning of this year’s busy “diplomatic season” in China. In the short span of just ten days before and after this visit, 4 high-level German delegations visited CCG in succession.

The Delegation of Economic Forum of the SPD visited CCG

On the eve of German Chancellor Scholz’s visit to China, on April 8, 2024, a delegation from the Economic Forum of the SPD, led by Matthias Machnig, Vice-President, Former State Secretary and Minister, Economic Forum of the SPD, first visited CCG’s headquarters in Beijing. They participated in discussions and exchanges with experts and scholars from CCG.

SPD is the oldest political party in Germany that still exists. The Economic Forum of the SPD is an independent entrepreneurial association, and it currently has around 500 members, and its membership is comprised of companies from the automotive industry, the IT and software industry, the consumer goods industry, the energy industry, the insurance and banking industry, medical technology and many other sectors. These include globally active Dax and MDax companies as well as large, successful family businesses, medium-sized companies, young, fast-growing Start-Ups and international companies with a strong presence in Germany.

The head of the visiting delegation, Matthias Machnig, has been in politics for over 50 years. He had several roles such as Minister of economy in the German Federal State of Thuringia and as Permanent Secretary in different Ministries at German Government. From October 2014 to April 2018, he was State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and was responsible for the departments for industrial policy, foreign trade policy, innovation, IT and communication policy and SME policy.

n conversation with Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger


Just four days later, on April 12, 2024, a delegation from Germany led by Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger, former Chairman of Munich Security Conference and former German Ambassador to the United States, visited CCG. Before attending a close-door breakfast roundtable hosted by CCG, Ischinger met and exchanged views with Amb. SHI Mingde, former Chinese Ambassador to Germany. Afterwards, they met with representatives from invited think tanks and leaders of German MNCs in the breakfast.

The Munich Security Conference is the world’s leading forum for debating international security policy. It is a venue for diplomatic initiatives to address the world’s most pressing security concerns.

The head of the visiting delegation, Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger, was Chairman of the Munich Security Conference from 2008 until 2022 and is now President of the MSC Foundation Council. Ischinger served as State Secretary in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and posts as German ambassador in Washington D.C. and London.

CCG roundtable with CDU high-level delegation

On the morning of April 16, 2024, at the same time as Chinese President Xi Jinping met with German Chancellor Scholz, a senior delegation from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), one of Germany’s important political parties, led by Jens Spahn MdB, Former Federal Minister, Deputy Parliamentary Group Leader for Economy, Climate, Energy, SMEs, and Tourism, as well as Member of the CDU Executive Board, also visited CCG. They participated in a roundtable hosted by CCG.

The CDU is one of Germany’s largest parties. It was founded in 1945 by a diverse group of former Weimar Republic (1919-33) politicians, including activists in the old Roman Catholic Centre Party, liberal and conservative Protestants, workers, intellectuals, and segments of the middle class who decided to become active in the new postwar democracy in order to prevent any rebirth of fascism in Germany. The first German chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the first German female chancellor Angela Merkel, and the President of the European Commission Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, all once led the CDU.

The head of the visiting delegation, Mr. Jens Spahn, is Former Federal Minister, Deputy Parliamentary Group Leader for Economy, Climate, Energy, SMEs, and Tourism, as well as Member of the CDU Executive Board. He was the youngest Member of the German parliament, having been elected at age 22 in 2002. He has since then served in the 15th, 16th and 17th Bundestag, and is one of the main sponsors of pension reform in Germany, being a member of the Committee of Health of the 17th Bundestag and Chairman of the Working group on health and health policy as well as the spokesman of the CDU/CSU health parliamentary group.

A delegation from the Körber Foundation
 visited CCG

After the conclusion of the German Chancellor’s visit to China, on April 17, 2024, Thomas Paulsen, a member of the executive board of Hamburg-based Körber Foundation, and Nora Müller, Executive Director International Affairs and Director Berlin Office of Körber Foundation, visited CCG.

Körber Foundation is one of Germany’s largest non-governmental organizations concerned with foreign affairs. It was inaugurated in 1959 by the entrepreneur Kurt A. Körber. It takes on current social challenges in areas of activities comprising “Knowledge for Tomorrow”, “International Understanding” and “Vibrant Civil Society”, as well as with “Cultural Impulses for Hamburg”. In the spring of 2014, President Xi Jinping once gave a speech in Berlin hosted by the Foundation.

Thomas Paulsen, who visited CCG, has been a member of the executive board of Hamburg-based Körber Foundation since 2015. He is responsible for “International Understanding,” “Innovation,” as well as “Asset, Management, and IT” areas.

Nora Müller has been Director of the International Politics Division and of the Berlin office of the Körber Foundation since 2015. On the Advisory Board, she coordinates the Public Communication and Civilian Crisis Prevention project.

In the span of ten days, CCG met with nearly 40 representatives from visiting German delegations. This includes former government ministers and members of parliament, as well as senior representatives from major German political parties, such as Dr. Frank Wilhelmy, Managing Director, Economic Forum of the SPD, Paul Ziemiak MdB, Former Secretary-General of the CDU Germany, Secretary-General of the CDU North Rhine-Westphalia, and executives from dozens of large German companies including Accenture Germany, AUDI AG, EY Geostrategy, Bayer AG, and others. Representatives from well-known business associations such as the European Chamber of Commerce in China were also present.

Frank Wilhelmy, Executive Director of the SPD Economic Forum, as well as senior representatives from major German political parties like Paul Ziemiak, Secretary General of the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia and Chairman of the CDU in the South Westphalia region, and executives from dozens of large German companies including Accenture, Bertelsmann Group, Audi, ASPIDE Technology Group, Ernst & Young, CHB Holding Group, Engeta, Forsa International (Europe), 365 Sherpas, Bayer, Formo Bio, Volkswagen, and others. Representatives from well-known business associations such as the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China were also present.

CCG Secretary-General Miao Lu, CCG Vice President Victor Gao, and CCG Vice President Mike Liu, among other Chinese representatives, participated in the exchanges.

During the seminar, both sides engaged in friendly and candid discussions on current hot topics such as opportunities and challenges in Sino-German cooperation, China-EU relations, climate and energy policies in China and Germany, and global governance. The dialogue covered a wide range of topics and yielded fruitful results.


Berlin Moot at the Humboldt Forum


While the German visiting delegation was visiting CCG, CCG’s founder and president, Wang Huiyao, was also invited to attend the the Berlin Moot at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, Germany. As a conference pioneering new approaches to peace, the opening day saw the participation of high-level representatives from various countries, including Alar Karis, the President of the Republic of Estonia, Christoph Heusgen, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and Susanne Baumann, the State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office.On the morning of the opening day, Wang Huiyao participated in the panel discussion on “Multipolarity, geopolitics & norms in peacemaking” and shared his insights. The discussion featured esteemed guests such as Günther Baechler, ambassador(RTD) Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bineta Diop, special envoy of the chairperson of the African union commission on women, peace and security, and El Ghassim Wane, former special representative of the secretary-general and head of Minusma. Vasu Gounden, executive director, African centre for the constructive resolution of disputes (accord), and Luxshi Vimalarajah, senior mediation advisor, Berghof Foundation, moderated the session. 
A Review of CCG’s Interactions with Different Sectors in Germany

The increasing frequency of interactions between CCG and senior figures from Germany not only tightens the connection between the two sides but also generates positive impacts across various fields including politics, economy, and culture.

As a leading non-governmental think tank in China with robust international ties, CCG has long been paying attention to China-Europe and China-Germany cooperation, and has organized multiple delegations of think tank experts to visit Germany. On July 21, 2022, despite the challenges of the global pandemic and flight restrictions, a CCG delegation of experts and scholars overcame various difficulties to visit Germany. They held several visit activities, exchanged ideas through think tank dialogues, and contributed intellectual wisdom to China-Europe international cooperation. On November 7-8, 2022, following their first visit to Germany in July of the same year, a CCG expert team traveled to Berlin again for a Track II diplomacy visit, engaging in in-depth discussions and dialogues with multiple think tanks, political figures, and scholars to break biases and explore future pathways. From May 12 to 24, 2023, CCG attended the 2023 Global Solutions Summit held in Germany and co-hosted a dinner with the BMW Foundation. Between November 10 and 24, 2023, an expert team from CCG also visited Berlin, Germany.

On May 18, 2022, during the pandemic, CCG held an online dialogue with Wolfgang Ischinger, one of the visiting delegation heads, on the prospects of development and cooperation between China, Germany, and Europe under global instability. On February 17, 2024, CCG convened a side event titled “China, Europe, and the United States: Climate Cooperation in an Era of Great Power Politics” at the60th Munich Security Conference 2024. This event, held on Saturday, brought together over 30 high-level participants to discuss the critical role of international collaboration among major powers – particularly China, the EU, and the U.S. – in addressing climate change.

Another delegation head visiting this time is Jens Spahn, Former Federal Minister, Deputy Parliamentary Group Leader for Economy, Climate, Energy, SMEs, and Tourism, as well as Member of the CDU Executive Board. On November 16, 2023, Henry was invited to take part in the Panel Discussion: Interdependencies in the global economy of the Congress | Strategic partnerships in the Indo-Pacific: reducing dependencies, expanding trade, implementing the China strategy by the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. The panel was preceded by a Welcome & Introduction by Friedrich Merz, Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, a speech by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and a conversation between von der Leyen and Jens Spahn MP, Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag.

On November 18, 2023, CCG President Wang Huiyao and Secretary-General Miao Lu also visited the Körber Foundation in Germany and had discussions with Nora Müller, Executive Director International Affairs and Director Berlin Office of Körber Foundation.

Through these exchanges, mutual understanding and trust have been promoted, laying a solid foundation for broader cooperation in the future.