Merkel says Germany and China committed to multilateral order

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang speak during signing ceremony of the treaties at the chancellery in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang held talks on closer economic cooperation in Berlin on Monday as the two countries seek a coordinated strategy in response to the USA administration's protectionist agenda.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood firmly with Li in opposition to the Trump administration's unilateral protectionist measures. German enterprises are expected to adjust their technologies and research to the Chinese market, Li said.

China is willing to discuss with the German side to jointly explore the third-party market, and Germany is willing to give full play to its advantages to work with China in Industry 4.0.

The two governments agreed that they should build a cooperation platform for companies of both countries and create a more favorable business environment.

She also applauded China for relaxing rules on foreign investment, saying that it was important to see "the market opening in China in this area is not only words, but is also being followed by deeds".

"It really is a multilateral interdependent system that at its best most likely is really a plurilateral win-win situation when we stick to the rules", the German chancellor said, echoing her Chinese guest's sentiment.

Li stressed the need to fight protectionism, saying China needed a stable and peaceful framework so it could develop further, and that was only possible with free trade: "We are against unilateralism - we are in favor of free trade".

In the new round of scientific and technological revolution, autopilot represents the commanding point of the automobile industry and technology, Li said.

German companies and politicians have complained that Germany has been more open to Chinese firms than the other way around.

Li and Merkel on Monday jointly witnessed the signing of autopilot cooperation documents.

As part of the talks, the sides signed a range of commercial agreements worth about €20 billion ($23.5 billion).

China invites Germany to attend the first China International Import Expo and welcomes Germany to expand its investment in China.

China treats both Chinese and foreign companies in its territory equally and will increase the protection of intellectual property rights, said Li.

Li arrived in Germany after paying an official visit to Bulgaria and attending the seventh leaders' meeting of China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries in Sofia.

In the course of China's industrial transformation and upgrading, Chinese people's way of consumption will change and their demand for high value-added German products will grow further, Li noted.

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