The last time the two met was three years ago and it also took place at the Munich Security Conference. At that time, the two were still colleagues. Wang has since risen to the Politburo, where he is head of the foreign policy committee. Schallenberg also placed his conversation with Wang in a broader global context, citing his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken the previous week and a planned meeting with India’s chief diplomat Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in early March. .
The war in Ukraine is taking place “on European soil”, “but it is no longer a European war”, said Schallenberg. But at a global level, a “war of narratives” is being waged that European states “have not yet won”, he said, alluding to the positions of China and India. He wants to conduct an “open dialogue” with Chinese State Councilor Wang, “where we approach each other without blinking an eye and without naivety”. He also wants to address human rights issues such as the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report on the Uighurs, but also economic issues such as fair trade relations and less reliance on supplies of essential goods from China.