China’s Xi singles out Germany as global ally

by Bloomberg

BEIJING • Chinese President Xi Jinping called for closer cooperation with Germany in shaping the global order, marking out Chancellor Angela Merkel as an ally on free trade at this week’s Group of 20 (G-20) summit.

“The strategic character of Chinese-German relations is steadily gaining in importance,” Xi said in an op-ed article published yesterday in German newspaper Die Welt, citing data showing that China became Germany’s most important trade partner in 2016. “We hope that the G-20 will continue to uphold the great goal of an open world economy.”

Germany and China “should intensify cooperation on implementing China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ and jointly make contributions to the security, stability and prosperity of neighbouring countries”, Xi said in the article, three days before Merkel hosts him, US President Donald Trump, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and other leaders of G-20 nations in Hamburg for a two-day summit.

With Trump retreating from post-1945 US leadership on global issues, China and Germany — the world’s No 1 and No 3 exporters — have an opening to fill the void.

It’s in everybody’s interest for the G-20, which groups the biggest advanced and emerging economies, to “remain an essential forum for international economic cooperation”, Xi said in the article. Germany and China should create “open investment conditions in both directions, characterised by fair competition”, he said. — Bloomberg