Destroying Iran deal would have unforeseeable consequences, China's Li warns

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

Germany and China are both committed to multilateralism and a rules-based global trade order, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a joint news conference with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang on Monday (Jul 9).

"We both want to sustain the system of World Trade Organization rules", Merkel said during the meeting.

Under the current worldwide situation, said Merkel, Germany is ready to work with China to strengthen openness and cooperation and send the world a firm signal that both sides will continuously safeguard multilateralism and facilitate global cooperation.

China, he said, is prepared to open up its insurance and bond markets to foreign investors and has in place intellectual property guarantees to ensure that German companies need not fear losing proprietary technologies if they operate there.

Bavaria-based automaker BMW has already been caught in the middle of escalating trade strife between the US and China, saying Monday it would have to raise prices on SUVs it builds in the USA that it exports to China, after Beijing raised the import tax on cars from the United States to 40 percent from 15 percent. Last week, US President Donald Trump imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, in an attempt to narrow the trade deficit.

Both sides are also mulling imposing higher duties on imported cars - a measure that would also hurt Germany with carmakers such as BMW and Daimler shipping a large number of vehicles to China from their production facilities in the US.

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He hastened to add, though, that this signal should come in the form of a renewed commitment to free trade, not a blunt warning to Trump.

Li expressed his hope that the autopilot cooperation will become a new engine for pragmatic cooperation between China and Germany, and inject new impetus to the relationship between the two countries. "We have a lot of direct investment in the United States of America; we have a lot of direct investment in China". "This regularly creates problems, but they certainly can be addressed at joint meetings".

"We are looking forward to interesting discussions, but we will also have these discussions inspired by the spirit of friendship and the wish to have good relations in the future", she said.

The president of Germany's foreign trade group BGA, Holger Bingmann, told the German regional newspaper Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung that China was already moving in the right direction.

China is pursuing a new round of opening up and will further relax market access to the automobile sector, Li said.

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