Focus on multilateralism in Merkel visit
She meets with Xi and Li, says Germany won’t pull out of Iranian nuclear deal
China and Germany are expected to uphold free trade and multilateralism and create new opportunities for bilateral cooperation in manufacturing and innovation, experts said ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 11th visit to Beijing, which began on May 24.
Now in her fourth term, Merkel met with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on May 24.
The Iranian nuclear deal should be complied with in order to keep regional peace, said Li and Merkel on May 24 while meeting with the media.
The multilateral deal, which was approved in 2015 by the UN Security Council, should be safeguarded, and China appreciates all parties’ endeavors, including Germany’s, to keep the deal working, Li said.
If the deal is overturned, not only would the Iranian nuclear issue be affected, but also other international issues that should be resolved through political means, he added.
Merkel said Germany will not pull out of the deal, which she described as the best choice after rounds of tough negotiations. Germany and China believe the deal is worth protecting, she said.
Li said China and Germany both uphold multilateralism, rules-based free trade, trade liberalization and facilitation of investment.
He said world peace and regional stability should be cherished to ensure prosperity for all countries. Li called for an expansion of bilateral investment with Germany in a more inclusive way as China opens its door even wider.
Bilateral trade hit $168.1 billion (143.3 billion euros; £125.5 billion) last year, up by 11 percent year-onyear, with Germany having a trade surplus of $27.8 billion, the Foreign Ministry said.
Chen Xin, an economics researcher at the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: “China has been Germany’s largest trading partner in the past two years. Both countries should voice a shared stance against unilateralism and support for multilateralism.”
China and Germany can enhance their coordination on the Iranian nuclear deal now that the United States has pulled out, he said.
This year, China will host the China-German prime ministers’ regular meeting, but Merkel comes at a special time in a changing international scenario, said Chen Fengying, a senior world economy researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
Her visit is cast in the shadow of rising trade protectionism and the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
The outcome of Merkel’s attempt in Washington to get exemptions from steel and aluminum tariffs remains unknown.
China has reiterated its stance of further reform and opening-up, which creates new chances for foreign companies, including those from Germany, and is exemplified by tariff cuts for automobiles, Chen said.
In addition to Beijing, Merkel has visited nine Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Tianjin. This time, she will head to Shenzhen, Guangdong province, where she is scheduled to visit a Siemens factory and a Chinese business startup.
Innovation is key to the high-tech strategies of both countries, and Shenzhen has grown to be a frontier city for this.
President Xi Jinping meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on May 24.