Merkel and Clinton Go To China: One Makes Deals, The Other Gets Snubbed

Wolf Richter's picture

Wolf Richter

Bring home the bacon, or the speck, as it were, was the guiding principle for German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she frolicked in China last week. But her pleas to get the Chinese to buy the crappy bonds of debt-sinner countries in the Eurozone fell on deaf ears. This week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hobnobbing with the Chinese elite. It turned into a clash fest, and instead of bringing home the bacon, she argued with the Chinese over everything and the South China Sea.

Merkel was accompanied by seven ministers and a delegation of executives from EADS, subsidiaries Airbus and Eurocopter, Volkswagen (which sells nearly a third of its cars in China), Siemens, Thyssen-Krupp, SAP.... Three planes stuffed with Germany’s political and corporate elite. It wasn’t about human rights or Syria or the South China Sea, but about trade.

Days before her visit, it seeped out that Airbus was hoping for a mega contract of 100 planes. The official occasion was Airbus’s joint venture in Tianjin where they celebrated with Premier Wen Jiabao the assembly of the 100th plane—of the 114 planes Airbus sold in China in 2011, 36 had been assembled there. During the ten years Wen has been Premier, German exports to China have quintupled, and Chinese exports to Germany have quadrupled.

Hopes of mega contracts can turn into disappointments. In early 2011, before the Chinese delegation came to Berlin, Airbus was hoping for an order of 150 planes. Then an advance agreement called for 100 planes. But in June that year, when the Chinese arrived in Berlin, they only ordered 88 planes. Punishment: the EU had included aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to deal with “climate change,” a policy China, along with the US and other countries, considered a harebrained idea.

This time, Merkel “secured” an order for only 50 planes. Tough times, even in China. Contracts were signed in the presence of Merkel and Wen. According to “informed circles,” numerous other deals were signed as well.

Smiles and friendly gestures abounded. Merkel and Wen strolled through the Imperial Palace together. There was talk on the German side of a “special relationship,” and on the Chinese side of “friendship.” Wen hinted that China would continue to “invest in the European Union”—but rather than buying bonds of Eurozone debt-sinner countries, which Merkel had been begging him to do, China has gone on a corporate shopping spree in Germany ... where it’s least needed. As an aside, the discussions also touched upon Syria and “questions of human rights.”

Germany’s interest is of mercantile nature. China’s focus is on strategy, part of which is to realign the world away from the hegemony of the US. It sees Germany as the leader of the Eurozone in a multi-polar world. And China needs friends. Its relationship with the US is thorny, with Japan on knife’s edge, and with countries around the South China See, which China claims as its own, it’s outright confrontational. Even in Africa, where China is investing heavily in resources, such as oil, tensions are growing [read.... The New Cold War, by Marin Katusa].

No such problems exist with Germany. But Germans have valuable technologies that China is appropriating bit by bit. It’s all about trade, and its murky give and take. A language both countries speak well. Not that there aren’t a host of tricky issues. But Merkel is flexible; she’d try to intervene, she said, with the EU Commission to scale down a trade war in solar panels which the Chinese are accused of dumping on European soil.

By contrast, Clinton’s visit to China, after a barrage of hostile articles in the Chinese press, turned into a fiasco. She argued with the Chinese over a laundry list of intractable issues. No compromise appeared possible; China simply refused to go along with US positions and initiatives. There was Syria: China supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, has vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions to stop the violence, and isn’t about to change its mind. There were other flashpoints, such as Iran, North Korea, and the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

And instead of selling Boeings, software, and nuclear power plants, Clinton argued with hardened Chinese positions. They didn’t even try to put lipstick on their differences. It was so pointless that Vice President Xi Jinping, possibly the next leader of China, cancelled his meeting with her.

The visits by Merkel and Clinton are symptomatic of two different approaches. American concerns are valid, and should be high on the priority list. But so should be the economy, and it would benefit from more exports to China—just as millions of people are asking, “what can the next administration do to help me get a job?” So, Mrs. Clinton, where is the bacon?

Trade wars aren’t just with China: Argentina’s government goes through great lengths to use self-destructive policies to keep the country glued together a while longer. Read.... Argentina: When Life Gives You Lemons, Cry To The WTO, by stilettos-on-the-ground economist Bianca Fernet.

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takinthehighway's picture

China doesn't have to play nice with the US any more. As obvious as it is to us that the US is destined for collapse, surely the Chinese can see it too. They're using their stockpile of USD to cherry pick industries and technologies which will strengthen their position going forward.

giovanni_f's picture

Quality matters. As an example, Airbus is superior to Boeing. I know for a fact that Boeing is able to struck deals mainly for geopolitical reasons (Israel is a Boeing country, e.g.) or because the waitlist for Airbus models is too long. China produces mainly crap but her vision is to become a manufacturing country, not a finance "industry" brothel (such as the UK). The show case for a successful manufacturing nation is Germany although the share of unproductive service sector bastards is on the rise over there as well. 

roadhazard's picture

Lets see, Clinton goes to China on borrowed money she got from China and our only leverage is that we buy all there shit... oh wait.

dannynewmexico's picture

i would love to have the opportunity to snub clinton...........................

“Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God.”-ThomasJefferson's picture

Anything and everything associated with Barack Obama is amateur hour.  If this clown was raised by his father's family, he'd be drunk on some goat farm in Kenya.  Hillary, always the loyal sidekick, should run, not walk, her fat ass out of this shitty little administration as it swirls the toilet drain.

Bill Clinton deserves Academy Award for best actor in a comedy, for his loyal portrayal of a capable Barack Obama. 

supermaxedout's picture

Mutti Merkel the Hausfrau from Germany signed in China  a contract which is dynamite.

read this :

A tough and coureagous woman.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Merkel is in China seeking jobs for Germans.  Clinton is in China sacrificing millions of American jobs for some rocks in the South China Sea. 


Quinvarius's picture

Clinton is an unqualified political appointee hack.  I can't believe Obama didn't understand the role of the secretary of state and gave her that job.

Joe Davola's picture

Obama's handlers didn't want a floor fight at the 2008 convention.

blueridgeviews's picture

And there, for all the world to see, is the difference between a country that has to protect the world and countries that just have to worry about taking care of their own.


BlackVoid's picture


And there, for all the world to see, is the difference between a country that is robbing the world by violence and countries that can prosper by peaceful trading.


Just who are the US protecting and from what? Give me a break. The US is an empire that siphons off wealth from the rest of the world.

Disenchanted's picture


"Where's the bacon?"


It's right there in Hillary's pantsuit.

Coldfire's picture

Tsk, tsk, Mrs. Clintstone. You don't bring a pantsuit to a cheongsam fight. And I mean that literally/metaphorically.

Peter Pan's picture

Trade is good

Increased trade is better

But balanced trade is the best, otherwise the re-investment of trade surpluses in the other nation's securities to fund the imbalance leads to inevitable breakdowns in economies and relationships.

Lore's picture



There are too many people in positions of influence who mistakenly figure their shit don't stink.

q99x2's picture

It takes a village. Hillary's village or look out.

When alien wanderers stumble across our future lifeless and blackened planet and play back time the last thing they will see is Hillary's face screaming this is my world mother fuckers.

SoundMoney45's picture

"China has gone on a corporate shopping spree in Germany ... where it’s least needed"


Germany needs to replace the target2 balance exports to other EU nations before the death of the Euro.  The best and possibly only option is China.  Germany desperately needs to ramp up exports to China quickly.

Amagnonx's picture

Least needed for whom?  I think income from foreign companies is just the thing China will need to level out bumps from its cooling economy. 


The article is very western centric - for me, I like to see China winning - their political class seems to be not entirely corrupted, unlike every single western nation.


bigkahuna's picture

Germany would seem to be a little late on this.

Element's picture

Clinton is supposed to be the US's foremost diplomat?  I'm no diplomat but I can see she's thoroughly incompetent and mentally unsuitable for that critical roll.  Basically everything she does turns to shit and has an endless case of foot in mouth.  Washington is full of low-grade idiots, so that's what you end up with, running foreign policy ... of a superpower? 

What's her claim to fame exactly?  That she polished Bills knob for a couple of decades? ... therefore she should be US Sec of State or something, or worse, the bomber-in-chief?

LMAOLORI's picture



Kind of harsh (Just Kidding lol) but hey there's things she can do over there like check on the Nuke's!


Clinton Gave China Chips for Nuclear War

or put in a good word for harry's boy






Zero Govt's picture

Wow, the Presidents green play goes bankrupt and Harry Reid's son is in there fast as a rat up a drainpipe

ruthless cut-throat Sons of bitches these Democrats!

zebrasquid's picture

You mean Biden is out of the running for 2016?   Damn.

moonstears's picture

Well, this should not surprise as there's likely ZERO true respect for Hillary in China govy. Whattt? You say?

loosely: I recall reading some years ago a few books about her (not all were good but maybe seems it was in "Truth about Hillary" by Klein, a better one I read, maybe "year of the Rat" ) and one tidbit was that during the "Whitewater" deal she had a guy who knew the score, of her involvement, and the problems it could cause a lawyer's seeming ethics, who maybe wanted to be a Senator from NY one day,  maybe more, and this chap had gone broke. He goes to visit the first lady, Mrs Clinton, and so the same day does some Chinese mafia affiliated with some in the "Party" high up Chinamen. This China cat meets Hillary approx the same time in the WH, as the whistle blower with money probs.  I guess when in the WH one has to claim all coming in and out that one has on his person. As the story goes China dude walked into a private meeting with the 1st "lady" there with several hundred thousand $$ CASH fed notes in a bag. Walked out with $100K less, as per some staff who checked you in and out, or so the story goes. Might China party and mafia ties guy have loaned it to the down on his luck "in the know" guy?? Maybe he just "gave" it to him? Maybe he just tipped the WH staff alot? Who knows?? Sounds like someone was bought, and once you're bought, you're owned, bitchez! Can anyone say "Take your shit home, ugly lapdog" in Mandarin? Is the story true? I have no idea, just thinkin'.

shovelhead's picture

According to U.S. Secret Service logs, Huang visited the White House 78 times while working as a DNC fund-raiser.

Sometimes old friendships turn chilly.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

that sounds like nixon and the "bag men"

they got caught delivering CASH from the milk producers to keep the price @ 6 cents a pound, wasn't it?

anyhow, you may be confused as to "rumor or legend" and F.A.C.T.

but i don't care;  why not?  who knows the difference here any more?

moonstears's picture

I actually think it's in "Year of the Rat" from 1998 by Temperlake and Triplett II. Pretty sure did a little surfin' Check the book out, no it's not mine. One author's a Marine pilot vet, as I recall.

Der Wille Zur Macht's picture


CJHames's picture

Hillary Clinton ... Hillary Clinton .... hmmmm ... oh yes!  She's the chick who said she was a "simple stay at home mom who baked cookies for her daughter" during Willie's first election.  

A simple, ignorant, miseralble old socialist biatch whose days are numbered.  61 to be exact.


giovanni_f's picture

she will continue to work for Monsanto to the end. Her real master. Voters are muppets.

Zero Govt's picture

"..her pleas to get the Chinese to buy the crappy bonds of debt-sinner countries in the Eurozone fell on deaf ears.."

as Confuscious says, you cannot make a silk purse out of Piigs ears... sorry Angela, they saw you coming!

"...It turned into a clash fest, and instead of bringing home the bacon, she argued with the Chinese over everything.."

Hilary continues the brilliance of US foreign policy which as i understand it is throw your weight around and if that doesn't work, throw your toys out the pram

maybe the US could get rid of the bubblegum chewing thug who makes US foreign policy sometime

Richard Whitney's picture

Testy, I must demur. And I am NO fan of Hillary Clinton.

Clinton has repeatedly said that the antagonists in these island disputes should negotiate. What she has said recently is almost word-for-word with the Chinese state press before her visit. But the Chinese government needs to portray Clinton and the U.S. as meddling, and Clinton's audience was also the rest of Southeast Asia. And BTW, Xi Jinping has recently canceled meetings with Singapore and Russia, too.

China is pointlessly antagonistic with practically all of its neighbors. They are relestlessly quibbling with them. It argues about the Paracel islands with Vietnam, and the Spratly with Philippines. It has a border dispute with Mongolia, and claims about 90% of a northern Indian province is actually part of China. Tibet, the Uighers, Taiwan, each have been targets. Right now, the Chinese government has probably gone overboard in demonizing the Japanese people. They have rekindled a dispute about what Japan calls the Sankeku Islands, and recently the Japanese ambassador's car was attacked August 27. 

None of this is productive for China. The Chinese, both the government and its citizens, are widely disliked in SE Asia. The Paracel Island dispute, for instance, is the result of a an internal struggle for more power within the Chinese central government, specifically the Ministry of Fisheries and the equivalent of our Coast Guard. Vietnam's legislature has rebuked the Chinese actions.

So the Chinese trample on their neighbors for various internal reasons, in keeping with their insular nature. It is a mistake to think that because we sometimes misstep that other countries can't be worse.

Clinton's audience is not just the Politburo. Japan, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, India and others in the region are also listening. China, wary of U.S. influence in the region, is doing everything it can to cement U.S. relations with each neighboring country. Clinton's visit has been a relative success compared to the way the rest of the region views China's response.

If Clinton had acted in the same fashion as the zeropean mercantilist tarts, we would properly have had a problem with that. 


neptunium's picture

Oh those poor client states. Some of you tools are so dosed up with self-hating propoganda that you can't see any other perspective than the "cunspiraacaay" theories that apparently only ever involve the US. 

Taiwan (and South Korea) have thrived under the umbrella of US protection, you think Taiwan is a client state or "that the PRC hasn't invaded anyone evar"? How long do you think it would take them to cross the strait if there was even the faintest doubt of a US response. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, all "suffering" from the protection and democratic reconstruction of the US? 

Because most of you haven't got any connections with, or ever been to the PRC, you likely don't understand what is happening there, China, in particular, is ratcheting up nationalist rhetoric, they incite riots and then ensure they get broadcasted, it's a simple case of diversion and while you might be able to say that all nations do this, you don't understand the SCALE in which it is happening in the PRC, they NEED something to distract the masses from the fact that there is an enormous crash (and food inflation) coming for them which will make it damn hard for a sizable proportion of the nation to find enough to eat, they need an external power to blame it on.

They have lost almost all regional goodwill that existed, disputes are raging and anyone with a fucking brain can see that the island issues cropping up spontaneously (with perfectly choreographed protests) are, like everything else in China, a deliberate product of the politbureau.

Despite the fact that most of you here are retards I'll put it like this, if you think US hegemony and dominance is a bad thing, you should consider the alternatives very seriously before you wish for them. The USSR provides a good example of the previous option and the PRC is a good example of the future, nations in Asia know which option works for them as most of you would if you'd ever experienced anything outside your own computer monitor.


Heyoka Bianco's picture

Your analysis would be insightful - if the world began in 1997. China has been "widely disliked" in Asia for nigh on 2000 years. The dispute with Vietnam goes back to the got-damn Han dynasty. Since you think you understand things so well in China, please to be explaining why they may wish to have a buffer region with Russia and India, and why they have a great interest in controlling Mongolia's border (hint: the Yuans). The US is "pointlessly antagonistic" with nations halfway across the globe (what sovereign nations has China invaded recently?), so how are they lecturing anyone on what's "right' in international relations? Try learning some history and geography before you start waffling on.

By the way something, none of the countries named in your spiel are lining up for the dead-end role of US client state. They may have misgivings about China, but they also know they have to come to an accomdation with them, and the US is very far away, and has plenty of other claims on their attention (how's tricks in Iran right now?).

Clinton's visit was solely for domestic consumption as no matter how you try to re-spin it, she achieved absolutely bupkiss, politically or economically. It's yet another pointless waste of taxpyer money on a "mission" with no hope of the slightest success.

Richard Whitney's picture

I am well aware of Southeast Asia history and political relations. In fact, I have just returned from a trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan.

Nowhere did I claim the dislike of the Chinese was recent. The Vietnamese still celebrate a victory, represented in Halong Bay, of their defeat of the Chinese in a battle before the Magna Carta was written. The distrust of China and the Chinese is pervasive. Neighboring countries don't want to be anone's client, but they understand they need to balance the crouching tiger.

A friend is a professor of international relations at a prestigious Tokyo university, and he knows that I don't care too much for Hillary Clinton. He spent an afternoon informing me about the positive attention Clinton has received throuoghout SE Asia from her stated stance that China should work with ASEAN to resolve these territorial issues. He had just returned from Myanmar, and he pointed out that they are opening their society due to the recognition by the U.S. of their reforms. 

Your flaming ranting comment, when not an ad hominem diatribe, was uninformative and a willful misrepresentation of my comment for your benefit.

Chuck Walla's picture

Clinton's visit was solely for domestic consumption as no matter how you try to re-spin it, she achieved absolutely bupkiss, politically or economically. It's yet another pointless waste of taxpayer money on a "mission" with no hope of the slightest success.


Wrong on one point. It was a success to keep her away from that travesty of a convention.  Not her fault now as they line her up to run on 2016. 


Whoahthere's picture

Poor, poor Hillary. Everything she does is based on promises of yesteryear. She is too butt-ugly stupid not to notice that the rules have changed and she no longer has the playbook.  And for anyone who thinks "Magna Cum Loudly" Bill is any smarter, is delusional.  A car salesman can manipulate people just as tactfully.  I wish people would get over the Dyke and the Penis.  Their sun has long set. They are just now too pathetic.

Zero Govt's picture

you'd drum up far more interest (and business) in China sending over Playboy bunnies than the village idiots from the US Treasury and Foreign Office

falak pema's picture

Yes, like Mutti Merkel, what a pinup she is! 

No, the root cause of Hillary's non performance is the structural divide, aka cumulative debts vs surpluses, and the resulting  currency war and the concomittant tug-of-war for oil; including ME oil which sours the kraut for America in Syria and Iran. China is voracious and wants more Lebensraum; something that Mutti understands, for obvious reasons as daughter of Bismarck; something that Hillary will not admit to as daughter of Pax Americana. 

This new Mongol invasion of the West, albeit engineered by the Bushes/Clinton period via planned Outsourcing, considering China as Serf labour surrogate without military teeth, in post industrial society and advanced neo-oligarchy hubristic logic, is now a pain in the rectum for the US elite.

We get the flying shrapnel of these guerrilla wars being provided by Wolf, but you have to fill in the blanks of the "great game" being played for yourself! 

A dangerous one that hottens up all the time; in the Middle East and Near Asia regions of PAk/Afghan where USA has multiple bases and Russia/China strategic interests; in the South China seas by the looks of it!

Is the fledgling Kraken of new oil hiding there?  

If push comes to shove in financial cum geopolitical meltdown, watch out for the next sack of Baghdad and the next battle of Ain JAlut.

The next ten years will be crucial to see how CHina gears itself up for assuming the geopolitical mantle of lead player in the making. If it is not itself a paper tiger with leaden-healed feet.

The Battle of Ain Jalut 1260 - (Egyptian Mamluks vs Mongols) - YouTube

slewie the pi-rat's picture

i'm not quite sure why the US Sec/State is expected to compete with a trade mission of the head of state and 3 planeloads of germans? 

obviously she wasn't there to sign sweatchop contracts for kathyLee this time

maybe if the prez went with 3 planeloads, but why?  we have things ok with them trade-wize

again bilary goes in to talk some turkey (facts probably not actually reported in the "press"?) and some zHedge "opinion maker" disses her for THIS?

cheap shot, wolf!

she's nothing to write home about, and just a puppet like prez0, but this is crap on a stick, comparing her to 3 planeloads of germans on a trade mission

look at these comments!  readers think this is a "fair" analogy?  comparing a cabinet member who was not on a trade mission to a head of state and 3 planeloads of "trade peeps"

and just beat up the USA for the 10th time today, today...

...and vote for...  ?   L0L!!!  ain't it awful! 

giovanni_f's picture

Quality matters. As an example, Airbus is superior to Boeing. I know for a fact that Boeing is able to struck deals mainly for geopolitical reasons (Israel is a Boeing country, e.g.) or because the waitlist for Airbus models is too long. China produces mainly crap but her vision is to become a manufacturing country, not a finance "industry" brothel (such as the UK). The show case for a successful manufacturing nation is Germany although the share of unproductive service sector bastards is on the rise over there as well.

slewie the pi-rat's picture


s'pose (theoretically i have no intel) bilary went in to talk about :>

  1. syria and
  2. iran

how "smart" would zH appear to be if people could think straight here?

or do you actulally think the MSM "report" is the "whole deal"?

if so, yer mom wanted you bed an hour ago!  woking on yer next "trade mission" report criticizing foggyBottom!  and don't ferget to take yer styooopid pill first!

jeff montanye's picture

ok, vote for romney because he is not obama and has made no mistakes as president and will put the democrats into opposition where they at least mouth the platitudes of civil liberties and less war.  to reward obama's performance ensures worse in the future.

or jill stein or gary johnson.  at least it's one less vote for obama.  but only romney can beat him, sickening as romney is.  but remember, romney has no principles (other than more money for the rich) and just as only nixon could "go to china", so, perhaps, only a bain man could prosecute the banksters.  damn long shot but politics is some strange shit, especially in depressions.

ElvisDog's picture

The solution is simple - refuse to vote for the guy who sucks the least and write in Ron Paul. That's what I'm doing, and on Nov. 6 I will feel good about voting for the first time in 30 years.