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Merkel and Li sign 24 agreements between China and Germany

Staff writer |
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang presided over the signing of 24 agreements on bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, technology and other sectors.

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The signing followed the fourth round of talks between the two nations in the Chinese capital.

The agreements include one between Airbus and a consortium of three Chinese firms to set up an assembly plant for helicopters in the eastern city of Qingdao, which involves the acquisition of 100 such aircraft for $788 million.

The two sides also inked agreements to increase production capacity of a Mercedes Benz factory in Beijing and other collaboration agreements in the field of high-speed trains between the companies Siemens and CRRC.

The technology ministries of both countries agreed to work together for the development of fifth generation (5G) telecommunications as well as signed cooperation agreements in fields as diverse as education, agriculture and medicine, and to support reconstruction of Afghanistan.

In her ninth visit to China as Chancellor, Merkel arrived with a strong business delegation that included six ministers, five secretaries of state parliamentarians, and representatives of large firms like BMW, Siemens, Volkswagen, Lufthansa and ThyssenKrupp.

According to observers, the German leader wants to put pressure on China to allow these and other firms greater access to the Chinese market, amid fears that the economic slowdown in the Asian giant is prompting increasing protectionism by Beijing.

During a joint press conference following the signing of agreements, Li tried to dispel those fears, saying commercial conflicts form only a very small part of the relationship between China and Germany.

"China hopes to be a more attractive destination for foreign investment," said Li.

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