Merkel Holds Talks with Top Chinese Leaders

Posted February 3rd, 2012 at 2:55 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese President Hu Jintao says his country is eager to further develop its “strategic relationship” with Germany.

Mr. Hu made the remarks Friday at the start of his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. State-run Xinhua says the Chinese leader told Ms. Merkel that bilateral relations have grown in “unprecedented depth and broadness” since they were first established four decades ago.

Ms. Merkel mirrored Mr. Hu's sentiments in her remarks, and said Germany was ready to work with Beijing to further advance its relations with Europe.

The German leader is on the second of her three-day visit to China.

She discussed the European Union's oil embargo on Iran with Mr. Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao after her arrival. She said she urged China to to use its influence to persuade Tehran to renounce possible nuclear weapons ambitions. China, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil, has so far refused to join the European Union's oil embargo on Tehran.

They also discussed the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis. Mr. Wen said Beijing is increasing its participation in the rescue funds aimed at resolving the European debt crisis.

Ms. Merkel is scheduled to travel later Friday to the southern commercial city of Guangzhou to attend a Sino-German business forum.