Germany says it will talk trade as well as human rights with China's Wen Jiabao
China is a key trading and investment partner, especially given the European debt crisis. But German officials say they will address human rights during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit.
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Government consultations are a form of intensive diplomatic and economic relations that Germany maintains with only a handful of countries like France, Spain, Italy, Poland, the US, and Russia. India joined this circle recently, as did China. The talks in Berlin mark the first time Germany will hold these government consultations with a non-democratic country.Skip to next paragraph
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“It’s a new quality of cooperation,” says Christian Dreger, a professor at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin. “Germany and China see each other as ‘strategic partners’ now. Around 5 percent of German exports go to China. That is much more than it sounds, given that this figure was about 3 percent 10 years ago.”
But China is not just significant as a trading partner. On Saturday, Mr. Wen visited Hungary, where he announced major Chinese investment in Hungarian government bonds, thus supporting the euro, which is under intense pressure because of the sovereign debt crisis in Greece and other European countries.
“Let’s face it,” says Professor Dreger, ”integrating China into the global economy as much as possible is probably a good way not just to improve the economic situation in Europe, but also the human rights situation in China.”