er el hosts i to ad­dress trade dis­pute

Viet Nam News - - World -

IN — China’s Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang was to hold talks with Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel yes­ter­day as the close eco­nomic part­ners seek to weather a brew­ing trade spat be­tween Bei­jing and the EU and forge deeper ties.

The new pre­mier’s visit to Ger­many, by far China’s big­gest Euro­pean trad­ing part­ner, in­di­cates Bei­jing’s wish to con­tinue its spe­cial part­ner­ship with Europe’s big­gest econ­omy, an­a­lysts say.

Aside from a brief stop in Switzer­land to ink an ac­cord paving the way for a land­mark free trade deal with the Alpine na­tion, Ger­many is the only stop among EU mem­ber states on Li’s maiden for­eign tour, which last week also took in In­dia and Pak­istan.

Li, in a speech to busi­ness and fi­nan­cial lead­ers in Switzer­land on Fri­day, slammed the EU for plans to probe China’s tele­com prod­ucts and im­pose taxes on its so­lar panels, Chi­nese state me­dia re­ported on Satur­day.

Cited by Xin­hua news agency,

hen an eco­nomic in­di­ca­tor can al­ready trig­ger such a tremor on the stock mar­kets, what s lurk­ing for the world econ­omy if there s a trade war be­tween China and Europe

GER­MANY’ S BUSI­NESS DAILY HAN­DELS­BLATT

Li said the planned mea­sures would “ not only cause se­ri­ous dam­age to re­lated in­dus­tries, en­ter­prises and em­ploy­ment in China, but will also hurt the per­sonal in­ter­ests of users and con­sumers in Europe”.

The Ger­man-Chi­nese trade re­la­tion­ship is an “al­most per­fect sym­bio­sis”, based on mu­tual need but is set to change as China be­comes more of a com­peti­tor than a mar­ket for Ger­many, ac­cord­ing to Ger­many ex­pert Hans Kundnani, of the Euro­pean Coun­cil on For­eign Re­la­tions.

While Ger­man mo­tor ve­hi­cles and auto parts, ma­chin­ery and elec­tri­cal goods find a vast ex­port mar­ket in the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy, China needs tech- nol­ogy from Ger­many.

Ger­man ex­ports to China amounted to 66.6 bil­lion eu­ros (US$86 bil­lion) last year, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial Ger­man data.

“Ger­man man­u­fac­tur­ers are in­creas­ingly go­ing to be squeezed, I think, by com­pe­ti­tion from China, and you are start­ing to see that al­ready,” the Lon­don-based ex­pert said.

As both the EU and China suf­fer the knock-on ef­fects of a sharp eco­nomic slow­down, a slew of loom­ing trade dis­putes over tele­coms, so­lar panels and steel tubes has turned up the heat.

Ger­many’s busi­ness daily pointed to the im­pact that poor Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ing data wreaked on world stock mar- kets this week, in­clud­ing a more than 7 per cent drop in Tokyo, a ma­jor trade part­ner.

“When an eco­nomic in­di­ca­tor can al­ready trig­ger such a tremor on the stock mar­kets, what’s lurk­ing for the world econ­omy if there ’ s a trade war be­tween China and Europe “ the pa­per fret­ted.

Puni­tive tar­iffs be­ing mulled by the EU on im­ports of Chi­nese so­lar panels would be “a wrong po­lit­i­cal sig­nal, a new step to­wards pro­tec­tion­ism”, China’s ambassador to Ber­lin Shi Mingde told the pa­per.

Ger­many may fear the con­se­quences of a trade war on other sec­tors.

Volk­swa­gen, Europe ’ s big­gest car­maker, an­nounced in March that it planned to open seven more fac­to­ries in China, VW ’ s sin­gle big­gest mar­ket where last year it de­liv­ered 2.81 mil­lion ve­hi­cles.

For China, Ger­many’s im­por­tance ex­tends be­yond eco­nomic ties as it warily eyes the US. — A P

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