THE IDEA of “political modification through trade” has actually lost its appeal across much of the West as China has grown more, not less, authoritarian under President Xi Jinping. That has not stopped Karl Haeusgen, chairman of Hawe, a maker of hydraulic pumps, from believing in the long-term success of its German version, Wandel durch Handel.
China accounts for about one-quarter of Hawe’s sales. On January 1st Ye Jiang, an engineer who has worked for the family company since 1999, joined its management board as its first Chinese member.
In the very first seven months of 2020 German service helped China edge out America as the EU’s biggest trading partner. Between January and September China’s share of German exports increased by one-eighth, year on year, to nearly 8%. China is likewise Germany’s top provider; its share of German imports increased to more than 11%in the same duration, from less than 10%in2019