Merkel wants better relations with Asia
26 October 2007, Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that she wants to strengthen relations between Europe's biggest economy and Asia based on common values.
26 October 2007
Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that she wants to strengthen relations between Europe's biggest economy and Asia based on common values.
"We have every chance ... but need to act relatively quickly," she told a meeting of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) ahead of a four-day visit to India next week.
Merkel called for "fair relations" with Germany's Asian partners based on common values that include acceptable labour standards and the protection of intellectual property rights.
The chancellor also questioned whether Germany should continue economic assistance in its present form to threshold nations like India and China in view of their rapid economic growth.
This issue was raised in a CDU strategy paper which suggested Germany should gradually phase out economic assistance to China, a nation with the world's biggest foreign currency reserves that has become a serious economic competitor.
Merkel's party wants to make relations with Asia a cornerstone of Germany's foreign and security policy in order to ensure the region's growing economic and political clout does not lead to a decline in German influence.
China and India, the strategy paper said, have the potential to become superpowers, but have been reluctant to share the responsibilities that go with an a growing role on the world stage.
At the same time Asia needed to ensure that democracy, social justice and human rights are strengthened as well as fair trade, the document said.
During her four-day trip to New Delhi and Mumbai beginning Monday, Merkel will hold talks with Indian leaders, while the business leaders travelling with her are expected to sign major deals with Indian companies.
Subject: German news