Merkel Plans Emergency Visit to China

Russia + China are moving to peel Germany away from NATO. With the construction of the new Nordstream Two, Germany just doubled its dependence on Russian gas. It really wants back into the Russian market and it really wants to lead Europe in integrating with the new Eurasian superpower alliance, as you see towards the end.

Xi Jinping shakes hands with Angela Merkel in Beijing, July 7, 2014. (Photo/CNS)

Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, is said to be planning an “emergency” visit to China later this year to work on strengthening relations, reports Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.

According to Duowei’s sources, details of Merkel’s delegation will be revealed within the next 60 days.

Merkel last visited China in July 2014, four months before the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, paid a visit to Germany. China’s premier, Li Keqiang, also visited Germany last October.

Theoretically, Duowei said, there is no need for Merkel to visit China again so soon, especially as she recently turned down an opportunity to meet Xi by skipping Beijing’s Sept. 3 military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

To miss that chance and plan a separate trip to China shortly after suggests there is a pressing need for Merkel to bolster Berlin’s ties with Beijing, Duowei said.

One of the reasons might be because Xi has an upcoming visit to the US later this month, when some sort of strategic agreement is expected to be struck with the Obama administration.

However, as neither side will be willing to budge on core strategic issues, there is a possibility that Xi and Obama might look for a third party to cooperate with, as suggested by Li when he met the US secretary of state, John Kerry, during the latter’s visit to Beijing in May.

Another reason for Merkel to want to visit China is the state of the German economy, Duowei said.

Turbulence in the Chinese economy over the last few months has sent shockwaves through global financial markets, with Germany one of the worst affected.

China remains Germany’s largest trading partner and supporter of the country’s automobile industry.

Beijing’s ambitious “Belt and Road” initiative to boost connectivity and cooperation throughout Eurasia could be a further factor.

Duowei states that when Li visited Europe this past June, he suggested linking the Belt and Road initiative with the €315 billion (US$357 billion) European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is aimed at overcoming the current investment gap in the EU by mobilizing private financing for strategic investments.

It should also be noted that Germany is a founding member of the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

These initiatives ensure that China’s economic cooperation with Europe will continue to deepen, Duowei said.

Taking into account inevitable competition between EU nations, early communication with China will no doubt serve as an advantage for Germany later on, Duowei added, noting that Merkel might have been driven into action by the fact that Xi is planning a visit to the UK in October and President Francois Hollande of France will be visiting China in November.

By Dr. Godfree Roberts <godfree@gmail.com>

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