Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Germany on May 31 for a two-day visit to Berlin which included meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by wider meetings with European Union leaders in Brussels. The meetings focused on role of China and Germany in these times of uncertainties. Furthermore, the two leaders held extensive talks on issues from trade, climate change, the North Korea crisis, and civil rights, and a multitude of business deals were signed. Importantly, this trip came at a time when the G-7 talks were not satisfactory; the G-7 meeting also indicated deepening rifts between EU and America. The visit is also a great opportunity for China to have more influence in EU’s affairs.
Chinese Premier meetings with Germany and other European leaders in May 2017 might usher in a new era of their bilateral relationships. If looked at in a holistic way, it would also open Europe’s trading relationship with China, as the European Union (EU) is shifting its focus on China for support on free trade due largely to Mr. Trump’s mantra of ‘America first’ which also emphasizes protectionism.