China Premier Li Qiang to visit Germany, France next week

By AFP   June 15, 2023 | 03:29 am PT
China Premier Li Qiang to visit Germany, France next week
Chinese Premier Li Qiang takes a part in a meeting with France's President Emmanuel Macron, unseen, at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, Thursday, April 6, 2023. Photo by Thibault Camus/Pool via Reuters
Chinese Premier Li Qiang will visit Germany and France from June 18 to 23, Beijing's foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Li will "take part in the seventh round of China-Germany government consultations, and also pay an official visit to France," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in a statement.

"At the invitation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the French government" he will also attend the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact while in France, Wang said.

That summit, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, aims to "bring together private and public financing where it is most needed by people and the planet" such as fighting climate change and poverty, as well as protecting biodiversity, the Elysee has said.

The trip will be Li's first overseas visit since being appointed China's premier in March.

Beijing said the choice of Germany as the first stop of his first visit after taking office "fully reflects the great importance China attaches to its relations with Germany."

"In the face of turmoil in the international situation, the sluggish global economic recovery, and increasing common challenges for humankind, China looks forward to further deepening and expanding relations with Germany," he said.

A former Shanghai party chief, Li is seen as one of Chinese President Xi Jinping's closest allies.

Li's trip to Germany comes just days after a document prepared by Chancellor Scholz's coalition Wednesday slammed China for putting regional stability and international security "under increasing pressure" and for disregarding human rights.

Asked what message the document sent to Beijing, Scholz told a press conference "the point is that China will continue to grow economically and that China's integration into world trade and world economic relations should not be impaired."

"But at the same time the security issues that arise for us must be taken into account," he said, adding that Germany "doesn't want decoupling, we want de-risking."

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