Merkel visit to deepen bilateral relations

Updated: 2012-02-02 08:03

By Zhou Wa (China Daily)

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BEIJING - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will deepen Sino-German ties during her upcoming official visit to China, during which she will discuss bilateral relations, the European debt crisis and international security with Chinese leaders, analysts said.

The priority for this visit is to follow up on the agreements made during the first Sino-German government consultations in 2011, Merkel said in a video on the German government website.

The chancellor said she hopes that her visit will be a step toward closer cooperation between China and Germany.

"With the shadow of the debt crisis spreading in Europe, Merkel will seek Chinese support during the visit and exchange views on the security situation in Iran and the Korean Peninsula," said Gu Junli, an expert on German studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

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Berlin is seeking a Chinese capital injection and investment, and in return, Germany should relax restrictions on high-tech exports to China, said Gu.

But this is not a precondition, as China has been showing strong political support to Europe since the beginning of the debt crisis, he added.

"The two countries will see some agreements on these topics this time. Merkel will not be completely disappointed, however, Berlin cannot get everything it expects, either," said Gu.

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The two-day trip will be Merkel's fifth to China since she took office in 2006.

She will deliver a speech about the economic situation in the European Union at the CASS, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said last week.

After her speech at the CASS, the chancellor will have lunch with Chinese and German businessmen at the China Club in Beijing to discuss financial policies and the stability of euro, said Frank Hartmann, spokesman for the German embassy in Beijing, told China Daily.

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On the second day of her visit, Merkel, accompanied by corporate executives from the energy, chemicals, engineering, banking and electronic sectors, will travel to Guangdong, economically the strongest of China's provinces, where nearly 500 German companies already have a presence, according to Agence France-Presse.

The main topic for Merkel in Guangdong province will be economic ties with China, and she will be accompanied by about 20 business leaders from major Germany companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises, said the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a major German newspaper.

With the establishment of a strategic partnership between China and Germany and the mechanism of government consultations last year, Sino-German ties are getting closer, said Chinese and German media.

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Premier Wen Jiabao and Merkel co-chaired the first round of the China-Germany inter-government consultation in Berlin last June.

During the consultation, more than 20 ministers from the two sides in charge of diplomacy, economy, science and technology, education, culture, agriculture, environmental protection, quality inspection, judicial affairs and other fields had one-on-one talks and reported the status of cooperation in their respective fields and their future work plans.