Dan O’Brien: Germany caught between Russia, China and a hard place

It is no exaggeration to say that Germany’s reputation as a reliable partner has been damaged as badly as Britain’s has been by Brexit

German chancellor Olaf Scholz: has been equivocal on China. Picture: AFP via Getty

Twenty years ago, Germany was known as “the sick man of Europe”. Its economy was slow-growing, flabby and uncompetitive, and this weakness was reflected in its international clout.

Despite being the most populous country in the EU by a distance, it had limited influence. The two other big countries in the bloc at that time, Britain and France, were more strategically minded and pushed their own interests more assertively and more effectively.

But a lot ...