Chinese president meeting Merkel, visiting pandas in Berlin

Danny Woods
July 6, 2017

Xi was greeted with military honours by German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before heading off to a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel. That's according to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"We intend to conclude an investment agreement soon, which could also lead to a free trade agreement with China", Merkel said at a press conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is on an official visit to Berlin. He also planned to check in on two giant pandas his country just sent to a Berlin zoo on loan.

In early June, Merkel said that Germany supported the early conclusion of an investment agreement between Europe and China.

The year 2017 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Germany diplomatic ties.

"I am convinced that these two can become new ambassadors of our friendship", Xi said. Both leaders discussed strengthening China-EU and China-Germany relations. "My visit this time is to draw a new blueprint, set a new goal, plan a new path for the next stage of development in this comprehensive strategic partnership to enable bilateral relations to go the extra mile on what has been achieved".

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Merkel said Germany has taken a positive view of the initiative.

"The new starting point requires a new leap forward", Chinese President Xi said. Bilateral trade volume reached 151.29 billion USA dollars in 2016, and China became Germany's largest trading partner for the first time.

The July 7-8 G20 Hamburg summit is expected to focus on issues of global economic growth, trade, spread of digital technology, climate policy and Africa's development, among others.

Xi made the remarks in a signed article titled "To Make the World a Better Place" and published Tuesday on mainstream German media ahead of his trip to the European country, where he will also attend the upcoming summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies.

After the state visit, Xi will attend the G20 Summit, an annual gathering of leaders from the most influential economies, in Hamburg on Friday and Saturday.

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