Mary ManleyAll materialsGerman Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived in Beijing on Friday, an AFP reporter traveling in his entourage said, for a visit in which he is seeking to bolster a vital economic relationship in the face of growing questions about his country’s heavy reliance on the authoritarian state.Scholz’s plane landed in the Chinese capital around 09:40 AM local time (0140 GMT), for a visit during which he is set to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.Scholz’s visit comes after a deal which he pushed through his cabinet last week. That deal includes a compromise with the Chinese state-owned shipping company, China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) which will allow COSCO to buy a 24.9% stake in one of Hamburg’s port terminals. However, six ministers in Scholz’s cabinet opposed it. Members of Scholz’s cabinet were not the only political leaders who opposed his deal with COSCO. A senior United States Department official said on Wednesday that the US also opposed Chinese control of a stake in the Hamburg port terminal. German lawmakers both in Scholz’s own part as well as the opposition are nervous that the country will become too economically dependent on China, though the deal has yet to be finalized. “The optics are not great,” says Noah Barkin, a researcher for the think tank Rhodium Group. “It appears that Scholz, shortly before heading to Beijing, is offering the Chinese government a gift.”But Wang Yiwei, Jean Monnet Chair Professor and director of the Center for European Studies at Renmin University, argues that Germany is already economically dependent on China as Germany faces economic headwinds while China has a hold on enormous industries including shipbuilding and electric cars. On Friday morning Scholz and a delegation of business leaders landed in Beijing for a one-day visit. His arrival in Germany marks the first visit by a G7 nation leader to China in three years following the country’s strict zero-COVID-19 policy. His meeting with Xi and Premier Li Keqiang will reportedly cover difficult topics such as human rights issues, Taiwan and German companies accessibility to the Chinese market.