Chinese premier wraps up German visit in Hamburg | News | DW | 11.10.2014
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Chinese premier wraps up German visit in Hamburg

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang wrapped up his second visit to Germany in a year. Germany's foreign minister called on China to play a greater role in global politics.

Speaking at a summit of 550 business leaders in Hamburg on Saturday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said growth in the world's second-biggest economy should come in at about 7.5 per cent this year.

"In the face of complexities at home and abroad, the Chinese economy faces heavy downward pressure," Li said. "However, it has managed to maintain a stable performance. There will not be a hard landing."

The summit was held in the northern port city of Hamburg, a European base for 500 Chinese companies and the harbor gateway for half of Germany's annual trade with China, equating to 2.7 million shipping containers last year.

He reported success in job creation, raising household incomes and a pickup in private consumption as evidence of the success of his government's reform plans.

He also called for a "grand strategy" from Europe and China to develop trade and help Beijing in its bid to promote innovation in the Chinese economy.

In Li's second visit to Germany since he came to power in Beijing last year there were a number of announcements about new business plans for China. They included the billion-euro investment by German car maker Daimler and plans from Volkswagen, telecom company Telekom and European aircraft maker Airbus.

Steinmeier appeal

Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, in his speech to the summit in Hamburg on Saturday, called on China to play a greater global role: "On top of economic power there comes political responsibility," he said, citing events and crises that "go beyond your own doorstep."

"Politics and economics go hand in hand," Steinmeier said in his speech to the conference.

Li's visit has been seen in light of ongoing protests by pro-democracy demonstrators in former British colony Hong Kong, now part of China. On Friday, Li warned that the so-called umbrella revolution was a threat to the region's economic prosperity.

Li in Russia, Italy

After Hamburg, Li flies on to Russia and Italy for the rest of his seven-day trip to Europe.

Beijing has already indicated to Moscow that EU sanctions over Ukraine open up an opportunity for China to develop its exports to Russia. Last year, trade between the two countries totalled 89 billion dollars (70.49 billion euros). Higher Chinese exports could raise that figure beyond the hundred billion dollar mark this year.

Li is due to attend the 19th China-Russia Prime Ministers Regular Meeting as well as signing agreements for energy, high-speed railways and finance.

In Italy, Li is due to attend the 10th Asia-Europe summit in Milan and visit the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

jm/ipj(dpa, AFP)

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