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Germany’s Scholz arrives in China — state media

By AFP - Apr 14,2024 - Last updated at Apr 14,2024

Supporters of Ecuador’s former vice president Jorge Glas celebrate the judicial decision to consider the capture of their leader ‘illegal and arbitrary’ at the National Court of Justice in Quito on Saturday (AFP photo)

BEIJING — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived in China on Sunday, Chinese state media reported, kicking off a trip in which he aims to shore up economic ties with Berlin’s biggest trading partner.

Scholz touched down in the megacity of Chongqing on Sunday morning, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said, accompanied by a large delegation of ministers and business executives.

As Western allies are cranking up pressure on Beijing, Scholz is expected to underline that the European export giant rejects calls for “decoupling” from the world’s second largest economy, and remains committed to doing business with Beijing.

But his friendly overtures towards China risk sparking ire among Washington and EU partners, which have been pushing back against Beijing’s heavy subsidies for industries.

“China remains a really important economic partner,” Scholz told journalists on Friday, adding that he would try to level the playing field for German companies in China.

On the geopolitical front, Scholz will also use his visit to persuade Chinese President Xi Jinping to exert his influence to rein in his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and help bring an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“Given the close relations between China and Russia, Beijing has the possibility to exert its influence on Russia,” said a German government source in Berlin.

The three-day tour taking the German chancellor to Chongqing, Shanghai and Beijing is Scholz’s second trip to China since he took office.

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