XXX Berlin Global Forum in February 2017

At the Traditional New Year’s Dinner, when the Chinese Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Shi Mingde, hosted the XXX. Berlin Global Forum to celebrate the beginning of the Chinese “Year of the Rooster,” Dr. Beate Lindemann greeted the members of Global Bridges. Included in the Executive Chairman’s remarks was the announcement that the XIII Study Trip to China, from October 14-28, would bring participants to visit Beijing, Hong Kong, and, for the first time, Tibet.

In his address, Ambassador Shi Mingde remembered Global Bridges’ Founding Father, Walther Leisler Kiep, discussing how this statesman campaigned for close partnership between China and the world, and how good cooperation between the Chinese Embassy and Global Bridges should be carried forward to that same end. In his speech, the Ambassador warned of the danger of isolation, which can lead to conflict. Chinese history demonstrates that a country can only flourish when it opens itself, said Shi Mingde. He is endeavoring to let China’s gates open even further.

Member of the Deutscher Bundestag Dr. Joachim Pfeiffer welcomed the faithful and mutually advantageous Chinese-German relationship, arguing that both countries must continue to strive for open and fair global trade, which rests on the principle of reciprocity.

Professor Johannes Adolff, a partner at Hengeler Mueller and a longtime observer of China, remembered President Xi’s remarkable address in Davos, when he said, “…this is a path that puts people’s interests first. China follows a people-oriented development philosophy and is committed to bettering the lives of its people. Development is of the people, by the people, and for the people.” President Xi drew here from the words of another great President – from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, in which he proclaimed: “…that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth. Semantically, it is but a small step from “my country first” to “people’s interests first.” In this small step, though, noted Professor Adolff, lies a major part of the answer to the crisis of our institutions, which includes the institution of free trade. In his conclusion, Professor Adolff appealed to elites that they take the common advice of President Xi and President Lincoln to heart – that for their position and their standard of living, elites have the people to thank, and that in return, they owe it to those same people to share their resources with their communities, and to apply their advantages to their communities’ betterment.