Scholz's visit to Beijing comes as a bit of a shock across the continent. There is broad consensus among the political leadership of Europe about the need to rethink ties with China, and Scholz appears to be out of step. This isn't only a concern across Europe, but also in Washington. With Chinese aggression on the rise, now is the time for the West to present a united front.
Scholz's visit to Beijing is much appreciated and needed, especially against the backdrop of significant turbulence and strife around the world. It's good that the leaders of two major powers can have a face-to-face meeting about bilateral relations and future economic cooperation and exchange views on heated topics. It sends a much-needed signal of stability to the international community.
This is an economic move. Having lost two pillars of Germany's economic success story — cheap Russian energy and low-security spending — Scholz has no choice but to guarantee that its third pillar — good business relations with China — remains. The chancellor's visit to Beijing is paramount to German industry, which is about to start an investment boom in China, moving production there from Germany.
There's a 50% chance that Germany will elect a new Chancellor by October 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.