Germany, China pledge to boost ties amid Trump concerns

03 Juin, 2017, 15:58 | Author: Marc Bacque
  • President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at The White House

"The EU and China underline their highest political commitment to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement in all its aspects".

Juncker put that issue at the center of the summit, opening and ending with it, and a Commission official said the topic was predominant in closed-doors talks as well.

The official is involved in preparing the meeting between EU Council President Donald Tusk, Juncker and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, but can't speak on the record because their meeting statement wasn't finalized. The agreement is famously flexible, and lets the industrialized world off with little more than a slap on the wrist for over a hundred years of disproportionate pollution.

Hours later, President Trump is expected to announce the withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate agreement.

With the United States charting its exit from the global Paris climate accord, the European Union president said the onus was now on Europe and China to take the lead.

Still, the European Union remains cautious about the direction of its second-largest trading partner, concerned by its militarization of islands in the South China Sea and it sees as increased authoritarianism under Xi.

Figueres clarified that she is not happy that President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris agreement.

For her part, Merkel said Germany attaches great attention to the EU-China investment treaty, adding that the signing of the treaty will be a good start of negotiations on an EU-China free trade agreement. In 2016, a Chinese firm topped a global ranking for wind energy production for the first time, beating America's General Electric. They are also unhappy with what they say are discriminatory market regulations against foreign companies and unfair competition with Chinese state-owned enterprises.

"But of course, we also hope to do this in cooperation with others", added Li, as Merkel hailed China's pledge.

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While the US President is widely reported to be about to announce the US with withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Mr Li said China had "in recent years has stayed true to its commitment".

Climate change, or global warming, refers to the damaging effect of gases, or emissions, released from industry and agriculture on the atmosphere.

China, a large developing country, should shoulder its global responsibilities to jointly address the challenge of climate change with other countries, Li said.

In a joint statement issued following talks in the Spanish capital between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy, the two countries said taking action on climatic change was a priority for both nations.

But since the G7 summit, Merkel and other senior German politicians have signalled that they do not see a Trump-led USA as a reliable partner on a host of issues from free trade to climate change. It's nearly like they are gaming the whole Paris agreement.

Echoing earlier remarks from his boss, European Union commissioner for climate action and energy, Miguel Arias Canete, pledged continued "global leadership" on climate change.

Rather it's more likely that they may seek to impose carbon-related tariffs on USA goods if these are deemed to be enjoying an unfair advantage because they are produced in an economy free of carbon restraints.


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