Friday February 21, 2020


May 29, 2013

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang just completed his first foreign tour. He visited India, Pakistan, and Switzerland before finishing his trip in Germany. Li expressed China’s desire to build mutual trust with India as an important neighbor and fellow developing country, to maintain and further its partnership with Pakistan, and to establish new mutually beneficial economic ties with Switzerland.

Li Keqiang spent Sunday and Monday in Germany. Germany was the first European Union country the new premier visited, signifying Germany’s importance as both a strong member of the EU and as an individual partner to China. Li Keqiang met with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the future of the China-Germany relationship, potential areas for bilateral relations, and the current China-EU trade disputes.

Germany is China’s number one trading partner in the EU. They have a very symbiotic trading relationship. For example, Germany exports machinery to China that China then uses to manufacture goods it exports back to Germany. China has also provided Germany with a valuable alternative market to Europe during the euro zone crisis and austerity measures. Li expressed the importance he places on this relationship, telling German businesses “if we both come together in an ideal and optimal way, a dream team will emerge.”

Angela Merkel has also been a strong supporter of free trade with China. Merkel and Li, in a joint press conference, both called for an end to the China-EU trade disputes. European complaints against China include the unfair pricing of solar panels and telecom devices leading to the ‘dumping’ of under-priced Chinese product into European markets. Merkel stated that Germany would do everything possible to resolve the dispute before the European Commission imposes import duties, which would likely lead to retaliatory measures by China.

President Xi Jinping meets with US National Security Adviser Tom Donlion

Xi Jinping and US Officials Prepare for California Summit

Xi Jinping met with Tom Donilon, Obama’s National Security Adviser, on Monday to prepare an agenda for the summit between President Xi and President Obama that will take place in California next week. The meeting in California is meant to be less public and more informal than it would be in either country’s capitol.

They key buzzwords from China regarding talks with the US are “critical juncture” and “a new type of great power relationship.” These phrases used by the Chinese leadership, especially Xi Jinping, show that China recognizes the importance of the US-China relationship and its current fragile nature. It also suggests that Xi Jinping hopes to use the summit in California to work on improving communication, trust, and the overall US-China relationship. This broader goal is shared by the United States.

In addition to emphasizing the overall importance of the US-China relationship, while in China Donilon also highlighted the Obama administration’s desire for stronger strategic communication and joint efforts in the Asia Pacific Region. He said, “An essential part of building a new model for relations between great powers is ensuring we have a healthy, stable and reliable military to military relationship.” Donlion added that this relationship should include working together on “non-traditional security challenges” such as disaster relief and peacekeeping efforts as well as measures to combat piracy.

Cyber security is likely to be a huge US talking point during next week’s summit, especially in light of recent reports of hackers accessing US weapons designs. The summit will probably also cover potential courses of action for dealing with North Korea and the continued disputes in the South and East China Seas.

President Xi also met with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa early this week. Villaraigosa and Xi both stressed the importance of grassroots, non-governmental, and local efforts to improve bilateral relations. Villaraigosa said that the US and China “should respect each other, seek common ground while maintaining difference, strengthen cooperation and realize common development and prosperity.”

For more information about China’s recent high-level meetings, see the following news articles:


People’s Daily– “Chinese premier’s maiden foreign tour features trust, sincerity, benefit, progress

Reuters– “Premier Li says China, Germany could be economic ‘dream team’

Deutsche Welle-Germany is first on Li’s EU list

The Diplomat-The China-EU Trade Spat

South China Morning Post– “Angela Merkel and Li Keqiang call for end to EU-China solar trade row

New York Times– “Chinese President to Seek New Relationship with U.S. in Talks

Reuters-White House security adviser calls for deeper China military ties

The New Yorker (blog)-The Year of the Hack

China Daily- President Xi meets with mayor of Los Angeles

For Chinese language news on these high-level meetings, see the articles below:

Sing Tao Worldwide (星岛环球网)– “李克强会见德国总统高克 转达习近平主席问候

International Online (国际在线专)- 李克强与辛格举行小范围会见 强调共同培育亚洲合作新亮点

Xinhua (新华新闻)– “李克强与德国总理默克尔共同会见记者

China News Service (中国新闻网)– “外媒:奥巴马高级顾问访华 为“习奥会”铺路

Xinhua (新华新闻)– “习近平会见美国总统国家安全事务助理多尼伦

China Eastday (东方网)– “外媒聚焦“习奥会”:独特庄园会晤“打破惯例”

Compiled and edited by Ariane Rosen