Xi Jinping tells German chancellor it’s easy to destroy political trust

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Chinese President Xi Jinping met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday and warned of the ease with which political mutual trust can be destroyed and the difficulty of rebuilding it.

The chancellor is the first G7 leader to visit China since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Scholz’s one-day visit is testing the mood between China and the West after years of escalating tensions, analysts say, with discussions about Russia’s war on Ukraine, climate change and reciprocal market access.

During lunch with Scholz, Xi stressed that it is easy to destroy political trust, but difficult to rebuild it, and both sides need to take care of that, according to a reading of the meeting by the state-run Xinhua News agency.

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Xi also told Scholz that China and Germany should respect each other and look after each other’s fundamental interests, according to Xinhua.

Earlier, while greeting Scholz at the Great Hall of the People in the heart of Beijing, Xi urged the two countries to work more closely on international issues.

“As large and influential countries, in times of change and turmoil, China and Germany must work even more closely together to make more contributions to world peace and development,” Xi said, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Ahead of the lunch meeting, Scholz told Xi that it is positive that both leaders meet in person in times of tension, and that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is creating problems for the rules-based global order, according to a recording of the comments provided by the German delegation.

During a press conference following a discussion with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Scholz said he raised the Taiwan issue. China claims the island as its own territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.

“Like the US and other countries, we are pursuing a one-China policy. But I made it equally clear that any change in Taiwan’s status quo must be peaceful or by mutual consent,” he said.

Scholz’s visit should be a welcome development for the Chinese leadership, which will seek to strengthen relations with the outside world.

*By Andreas Rinke and Eduardo Baptista

Source: CNN Brasil

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