More Chinese displeasure with Germany

18th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

18 November 2007, Berlin (dpa) - China, which is upset over the Dalai Lama's top- level visit to Berlin, last month cancelled talks between senior Foreign Ministry officials, German diplomats confirmed. The disclosure came only two days after the revelation that Beijing had snubbed German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck, who had been scheduled to visit the Chinese capital next month. The Chinese said his Chinese counterpart, Minister Xie Xuren, had no time to see Steinbrueck, who responded by cancelling

18 November 2007

Berlin (dpa) - China, which is upset over the Dalai Lama's top- level visit to Berlin, last month cancelled talks between senior Foreign Ministry officials, German diplomats confirmed.

The disclosure came only two days after the revelation that Beijing had snubbed German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck, who had been scheduled to visit the Chinese capital next month.

The Chinese said his Chinese counterpart, Minister Xie Xuren, had no time to see Steinbrueck, who responded by cancelling his whole Asian swing, including visits to Japan and South Korea too.

The two cancellations were the latest in a series of high-level meetings with German officials that the Chinese have delayed or cancelled since Chancellor Angela Merkel held a private meeting with the Dalai Lama on September 29.

Deputy ministers from the two nations had been set to hold a routine meeting as part of their "strategic dialogue" in October.

Confirming a report to appear Monday in the news magazine Der Spiegel, a German Foreign Ministry spokesman said the meeting had been unable to be held in that form. The topics at the annual meeting include economic ones and human rights.

China regards the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, as a separatist. Merkel said she met him for a personal exchange of views.

Der Spiegel said German diplomats feared France would exploit Chinese displeasure with Merkel to curry favour with China, with French industry seeking to take away orders from German companies when President Nicolas Sarkozy visits Beijing this month.

In Paris on Saturday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier voiced concern about the friction with China.

"It's unfortunately true that we did have better relations with China in the past," he told reporters during a meeting with high French officials.

"It's a state of affairs that we can't just leave to itself," he said. "We have an interest in restoring good relations with China."

DPA

Subject: German news

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