Chinese Premier refuses to meet with German Vice Chancellor

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German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who is also the country’s minister for economic affairs and climate action, has reportedly failed to secure a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang during his three-day trip to China, amid economic disputes and fears of a trade war.

Habeck landed in Beijing on Friday, where he hoped to meet Li Qiang before traveling on to Shanghai on Saturday – but was informed that the appointment was “not possible in the morning before departure,” Die Welt reported, adding that Habeck has “no idea” why the meeting was canceled.

Instead, the German official will meet “a whole series of cabinet colleagues,” so his day is “full enough,” according to the publication.

Habeck’s three-day trip to China is the first by a senior official from an EU country since Brussels proposed new duties on China that could impact German businesses.

Just hours before his arrival, the Chinese commerce ministry warned that the EU could trigger a “trade war” if it continues to “escalate trade frictions.”

“The responsibility lies entirely with the European side,” the Chinese commerce ministry’s spokesperson stated on Friday, denouncing the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation, claiming that the bloc ignored the important consensus reached by the leaders of both sides.

A month ago, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was welcomed in China not by President Xi Jinping, but by the Chinese city of Chongqing deputy mayor, Zhang Guozhi. This is how far has Germany fallen as a nation.