Xi tells Scholz China, Germany should step up cooperation in turbulent times

Beijing, November 4 (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the need for closer cooperation between China and Germany in a meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday, the first G7 leader to visit China since the pandemic. started.

Scholz’s one-day visit will test the waters between China and the West after years of tensions, with analysts saying talks will touch on Russia’s war with Ukraine, climate change and economic ties.

In their first face-to-face meeting since Scholz took office at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing, Xi said China and Germany, as nations of great influence, should cooperate even more “in this day and age.” change and turmoil’ in the name of world peace, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

“Currently, the international situation is complex and volatile,” Xi said.

“As large and influential countries, in times of change and turmoil, China and Germany should cooperate even more to contribute more to world peace and development.

Scholz told Xi it was good that the two leaders were meeting in person during tense times and said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine poses problems for the rules-based global order, according to a Reuters reporter accompanying Scholz’s delegation.

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Scholz also said the two would discuss issues related to Europe-China relations, the fight against climate change and global hunger, how to develop China-Germany economic ties, as well as topics on which the two countries had different perspectives.

The two leaders dined in the Great Hall of the People’s “Golden Room”, where banquets are sometimes held for foreign heads of state.

COVID MEASURES

Scholz and a delegation of German business leaders flying with him were tested for COVID-19 when they landed in Beijing on Friday morning, and Chinese medical personnel dressed in hazmat suits boarded the plane to conduct the tests, according to a Reuters reporter accompanying the delegation.

After a red carpet and honor guard reception, the delegation was moved from the airport to a state guesthouse to await the results of the COVID tests, which quickly came back negative for Scholz, according to his press team.

According to government sources, members of the German embassy in Beijing who come into contact with the delegation will have to undergo standard quarantine procedures of seven days in a hotel, followed by three days at home.

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China’s strict zero-covid policy and rising tensions with the West have made it impossible for major Western leaders to visit China, and Xi only resumed overseas travel in September.

Following the end of the ruling Communist Party’s 20th National Congress last month, several foreign leaders visited China and were exempted from strict COVID restrictions, instead being placed in “bubbles” designed to reduce the likelihood of COVID cases being brought into the country. Beijing.

WATER TESTING

Scholz’s visit is likely to be a welcome development for China’s leadership, which will seek to strengthen relations with the outside world. read more

“China, in the current domestic and international environment, requires his visit and what the two countries jointly announce in Beijing, especially soon after the (party) congress,” said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Beijing Renmin University.

With historic inflation and a looming recession in Germany, Scholz will seek to emphasize the need for continued cooperation with China. read more

According to government sources, Scholz, who is also due to meet outgoing Premier Li Keqiang, promised earlier this week to raise issues such as human rights, Taiwan and the difficulties German companies face in entering the Chinese market during meetings in Beijing.

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In the run-up to the visit, the EU-German government coalition has faced criticism of the visit, mainly from the Green Party and liberals.

Those tensions were highlighted by a deal last week that saw Chinese shipping giant Cosco get the green light from Berlin to acquire a stake in a Hamburg port terminal despite opposition from coalition partners.

China’s role in key industries from shipbuilding to electric vehicles, combined with the unprecedented economic headwinds Germany faces, means Scholz needs to engage with China more than his predecessor Angela Merkel ever did, Jean said. Monnet Chair Professor and Center Director Wang Yiwei. European Studies at Renmin University.

“Merkel was also quite ideological (toward China) at first, but then changed her tune. Scholz changed her tune even faster, but he does not have as strong a domestic political position as Merkel,” Wang said.

Andreas Rinke and Eduardo Baptista reports; Writer Eduardo Baptista; Edited by Christopher Cushing and Kim Coghill

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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