BEIJING – German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended multilateralism in global trade before wrapping up her 12th official visit to China on Saturday.
“More than ever we must think and act multilaterally rather than unilaterally, globally rather than nationally, outwardly rather than isolatedly,” Merkel told Chinese students at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
“In short, be together rather than alone,” she stressed.
Merkel headed to the central city of Wuhan in Hubei province after she held talks in the capital Beijing with Prime Minister Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping.
The German politician said China’s economy had grown rapidly in recent decades, recalling that many people had lifted themselves out of poverty.
“However, China’s global responsibility has also grown with its economic development,” Merkel pointed out.
She then called on students to follow in the path marked by the authorities for greater openness and reform.
Earlier on the day, Merkel met with officials from the government of Hubei and visited the Sino-German Friendship Hospital as well as Webasto, a German car supply company.
On Friday, the Chinese prime minister expressed his country’s willingness to work with Germany on issues such as strengthening mutual trust and cooperation at all levels, defending multilateralism and free trade, as well as “sustained and healthy” development of bilateral relations.
Merkel said that Germany hoped the visit would demonstrate that both countries maintain sustained momentum in the development of bilateral ties, especially in the face of the “current complicated international situation.”
China has been Germany’s main trading partner for three consecutive years, as the Asian country was “one of the most favorite investment destinations” for German firms.
The German leader traveled Thursday to China, accompanied by a high-level business delegation, according to the chancellor’s official website.