Angela Merkel begins her tour of China today. In a bid to navigate an increasingly volatile international trade environment, the German leader will hold talks with Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping.
While Xi has talked the talk on free trade in recent years, Beijing’s restrictions on foreign firms accessing the Chinese market continue to irritate many in more liberal economies. Germany is no exception, with Merkel putting reciprocal market access and intellectual property security firmly on today’s agenda.
There is also friction between Berlin and Beijing over Germany’s toughened rules against Chinese takeovers of German companies, which drew criticism from China’s ambassador to Germany this week.
In an interesting twist of diplomatic scheduling, Merkel’s two-day visit to Beijing will coincide with Emmanuel Macron’s two-day visit to Russia. With both the German and French leaders working in tandem to rescue the Iran deal from an early demise, today’s meetings might offer the best opportunity for consensus building among four of the six parties to the Iran deal (apart from Iran itself).
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John is a Senior Analyst with an interest in Indo-Pacific geopolitics. Master of International Relations (Australian National University) graduate with study focus on the Indo-Pacific. Qualified lawyer (University of Auckland, NZ) with experience in post-colonial Pacific & NZ legal systems.