Tuesday, May 21, 2024

China warns Germany against economic protectionism at Beijing meeting

Germany and China depended on industry and supported free trade, Mr Xi said on Tuesday, according to Beijing.

• April 16, 2024
Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz [Credit; Euronews]

During a meeting at the State Guest House in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned German Chancellor Olaf Scholz against protectionist economic measures.

Germany and China depended on industry and supported free trade, Mr Xi said on Tuesday, according to Beijing.

“In this sense, both sides should guard against the rise of protectionism,” he said.

Since the German government presented its China Strategy 2023, the aim has been to reduce dependence on the world’s second-largest economy in critical sectors and thus minimise the risk for Germany.

Mr Xi has countered this by saying that cooperation between Germany and China does not represent a risk but is “a guarantee for the stability of relations.”

The Chinese leader cited examples of industries traditionally strongly represented in China, such as mechanical engineering and the automotive industry.

Tensions over subsidised Chinese export goods on foreign markets and industrial overcapacity have been a major concern of Europe and the United States.

They said Beijing’s state investment keeps prices artificially low, which puts their domestic firms at a disadvantage.

Examples include electric cars, the subject of an EU anti-subsidy investigation, and the solar industry. 


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