Schroeder courts China business

2nd December 2003, Comments 0 comments

2 December 2003 , BEIJING - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Tuesday urged Chinese and German businesses to build closer trade and investment ties, but said insecurity about the rule of law in China was hampering some smaller German firms. In a speech to Chinese and German business leaders, Schroeder urged more Chinese firms to invest in Germany, saying they could build a platform for access to central European markets. He said Germany already accounts for 40 percent of China's trade with the Europea

2 December 2003

BEIJING - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Tuesday urged Chinese and German businesses to build closer trade and investment ties, but said insecurity about the rule of law in China was hampering some smaller German firms.

In a speech to Chinese and German business leaders, Schroeder urged more Chinese firms to invest in Germany, saying they could build a platform for access to central European markets.

He said Germany already accounts for 40 percent of China's trade with the European Union.

But China needs to improve the rule of law to relieve the insecurity felt by many small and medium-sized German firms, he said in a discussion following his speech.

Schroeder also met Wu Bangguo, chairman of China's National People's Congress and number two in the official hierarchy of the ruling Communist Party.

Transportation Minister Manfred Stolpe, Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries and some 40 German business leaders are travelling with Schroeder in China.

Stolpe met Chinese Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun on Tuesday, with German sources saying he got a "positive signal" on German participation in the modernization of China's rail network.

"Talks have never been so substantive and so positive," the sources said of the cooperation on railways.

China is expected to increase the maximum operating speed to 200 kilometres per hour on 20,000 kilometres of railway in the next decade, bringing opportunities to provide signalling, locomotives and track.

The German side also asked for more involvement in the development of China's subways and light railways, and believes German high-speed or even maglev technology may be used on the prestigious 1,300-kilometre Beijing-Shanghai line.

German officials expect the 31-kilomtere maglev line to Shanghai's main airport to be extended to the site of the city's Expo 2010.

The world's first commercial maglev line, built by the German Transapid consortium, is scheduled to begin full service to the airport from January 1.

Schroeder left Beijing for the southern city of Guangdong later on Tuesday and is scheduled to visit the southwestern city of Chengdu on Wednesday.

On Monday, he held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, and attended the opening of a landmark German-Chinese tourism joint venture.

He told Wen that Germany would work for the lifting of a European Union embargo on arms sales to China, which was imposed after the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. "The new China is not the Tiananmen China," he was quoted as saying.

The weapons embargo, which Beijing regards as "discrimination", is the last sanction remaining against China since the bloody crackdown in Tiananmen Square.

Germany would have no reservations about supplying weapons in the future to China, which German officials called a responsible partner which has played an important role in the United Nations and also in mediating the North Korean nuclear dispute.

Germany is the second major EU country, after France, to urge the lifting of the embargo.

DPA
Subject: German news

 

 

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