Merkel visit a chance to press China to open up - EU's Katainen
BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's trip to China this week is a good opportunity to press the Chinese to deliver on promises of trade liberalisation, European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said. Merkel faces a delicate diplomatic balancing act on Thursday and Friday during a visit clouded by trade threats from U.S. President Donald Trump and his decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal
BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's trip to China this week is a good opportunity to press the Chinese to deliver on promises of trade liberalisation, European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said.
Merkel faces a delicate diplomatic balancing act on Thursday and Friday during a visit clouded by trade threats from U.S. President Donald Trump and his decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
"(Beijing authorities) have been talking very much about freer trade and more open trade but very little has happened in practise up until now," Katainen told Reuters in an interview.
"At this particular moment, Chancellor Merkel's visit is very important because it can clarify the situation."
Germany and China, two exporting nations that run large trade surpluses with the United States, have found themselves in Trump's firing line and are scrambling to preserve the rules-based multilateral order on which their prosperity rests.
Katainen said "transatlanticism is so deeply rooted that it goes beyond political cycles", but he added:
"At the moment, the political situation, because of President Trump's unilateralism, is different and very difficult. China has indicated that they are very strongly supporting multilateralism, and this unites us."
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Paul Carrel; editing by John Stonestreet)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
U.S. home sales fall as tight supply boosts prices | Reuters
France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.