German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to travel to China in April

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to China with a business delegation from April 15 to 16, a person involved in the planning said on Wednesday.

The Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business and the BDI Federation of German Industries have sent invitations to companies to join Scholz, the person added, without specifying which firms were invited.

The FAZ newspaper first reported Scholz’s China trip.

A government spokesperson declined to comment on the potential trip, saying that in general Scholz’s public appearances are announced on the Friday before they take place.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomes German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the East Hall of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in November 2022. Photo: EPA-EFE

Scholz was last in China in November 2022, when he met Chinese President Xi Jinping, the first visit to China by a leader from the Group of Seven wealthy nations since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scholz pressed Xi to prevail on Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine, saying Beijing had a responsibility as a major power to do so.

China remained Germany’s most important trading partner for the seventh year in a row in 2022 and is set to continue its streak in 2023 based on preliminary statistics office figures.

‘Opposite directions’: in German trade, US is poised to overtake China in 2024

However, the head of foreign trade at the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) said that the United States is set to overtake China as top trade partner by 2025 at the latest in view of the continuing growth in German exports to the United States.

European leaders have warned companies of the risks of relying too heavily on China and urged them to diversify their business away from what they refer to as a “partner, competitor and systemic rival”.

Scholz heads to Washington this week, where he will meet US President Joe Biden to discuss the war in Ukraine, among other topics.

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