The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz does not rule out running as the Union’s candidate for chancellor in the next regular federal elections in autumn 2025 – although he would then be almost 70 years old practice,” Merz told the “Spiegel”. “Joe Biden became US President at the age of 78.” However, the 66-year-old also emphasized: “What we do in three years’ time will be decided after the European elections in 2024 at the earliest. We’ll talk about that when the time comes. “

After the leak of Chinese government data on the oppression and abuse of the Uyghur minority, Merz advocates a realignment of relations with Beijing. “These publications only confirm what we have always suspected, and they refute the Chinese leadership’s propaganda claims of the ‘educational institutions,'” Merz said. “China is not only now being viewed increasingly critically.” But criticism is not yet a strategy.” Referring to the federal government, Merz said: “We also have to reduce our dependency on China step by step and readjust our future dealings with China and its communist state leadership .”