Germany's development ministry is ending all financial aid to China, a spokesman said Monday, following complaints that China is rich enough to fund its own projects.
Germany will not be giving any more development money to fast-rising China
The announcement comes after a series of discussions between German lawmakers this year which focused on the relevance of providing China, a fast-rising economic power, with development aid.
Many have argued that China no longer needs German economic aid -- particularly at a time when Berlin is keeping a close eye on spending in an effort to balance its budget.
Germany's opposition Free Democrats welcomed the move, saying China had a very strong economy and did not need financial aid or low-interest credits.
"We will in future concentrate on a strategic partnership of the whole government with China, in order to move forward reform processes there in justice, society and climate protection," German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek Zeul said in an interview with the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung newspaper.
The refocusing of the arrangement would "end classic financial cooperation," she added.
"We want to encourage dialogue and consultation and the expansion of business partnerships," Zeul said.
Germany re-assessing development spending
** ARCHIV ** Bundesfiinanzminister Peer Steinbrueck lacht auf einer Pressekonferenz im Bundesfinanzministerium in Berlin am 3. November 2006. Steinbrueck (SPD) will die Neuverschuldung des Bundes deutlich schneller als bislang geplant senken und 2011 erstmals mit dem Abbau des Schuldenbergs beginnen. Steinbrueck sagte der "Berliner Zeitung" vom Samstag, 30. Juni 2007, 2008 werde die Neuverschuldung knapp unter 13 Milliarden Euro liegen. Das seien 40 Prozent weniger als die bislang veranschlagten 21,5 Milliarden Euro. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) --- ** FILE ** German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck laughs at the Finance Ministry in Berlin in this Nov. 3, 2006 file photo. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Stephan Bethe, Wieczorek-Zeul's spokesperson, issued a statement which pointed to environmental protection, renewable energy and energy efficiency as possible areas for future advisory cooperation. He added that he could not yet say on what scale that cooperation would be.
Germany has yet to make any development aid pledges for this year or next after pumping 67.5 million ($97.7 million) into China in 2007.
China looking for long term cooperation
Earlier this month, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang met with Minister of Finance Peer Steinbrueck for talks on economic cooperation.
Li told Steinbrueck that China valued its relations with Germany and would promote the relationship from a "strategic, long-term perspective," adding that China and Germany had enjoyed fruitful cooperation since establishing diplomatic ties 36 years ago.
The vice premier said China's economy had undergone challenges and tests but still showed "stable and rapid development."
Steinbrueck reiterated that Germany attached importance to relations with China and would continue to enhance the relationship.