Speak softly to China, minister admonishes Germans
German Foreign Minister advises a gentle approach in relations with China
Freiburg -- Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier admonished German politicians on Friday to speak softly when addressing China, saying change could only be achieved gently.
Speaking a week before he visits China, Steinmeier said in the south-western city of Freiburg that demands to respect human rights in China should only be raised in the context of a dialogue.
Beijing had to be given the opportunity to adopt western rights standards out of its own commitment and by its own efforts, and this would only succeed if pressure from abroad was moderate, the German minister said.