China, Germany can use global influence to fight rising tide of US protectionism

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/18 23:03:39

"China and Germany should set an example of win-win cooperation," Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The two countries should "align their strategies, make a plan together for mutually beneficial cooperation in the next stage, push forward cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative and achieve common development," Xinhua reported.

The discussion came after the US announced tariffs on imported steel of 25 percent and imported aluminum at 10 percent.

Rising protectionist sentiment in the US may harm the economy in both China and Germany. Amid increased anti-globalization rhetoric, will German join hands with China to combat trade protectionism?

China is Germany's largest trading partner. The accelerated development of trade signals that bilateral economic cooperation is moving toward a comprehensive, multi-dimensional and diversified approach. As two countries with significant influence in the global economy, China and Germany have extensive common interests and broad scope for cooperation.

These common interests have become an inner impetus to forge a common consensus on global issues. China and Germany, both facing a complex international economic situation, are likely to enhance mutual trust and strengthen cooperation through strategic and economic dialogue.

Finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of 20 major economies will meet in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Monday and Tuesday. Anti-globalization rhetoric may create a tense atmosphere in Buenos Aires to split the Western camp. Germany is a country with an export-oriented economy. US President Donald Trump's recently adopted protectionist measures may prompt criticism from some Western countries including Germany.

In Saturday's phone conversation, Xi said: "China and Germany should also lead the development of China-EU relations and play constructive roles in promoting China-EU strategic mutual trust and cooperation," Xinhua reported.

If the global economy is consumed in a catastrophe of protectionism, the EU will be no exception. The EU may work more closely with China to voice its opposition to US trade protectionism.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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