G20 deals, protests

BERLIN – Ties between China and Germany are about to enter a new phase, China’s president said, as he met the German chancellor before a G20 summit that was expected to highlight their differences with the US on a host of issues.

President Xi Jinping and Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged on Wednesday to work together more closely on a range of issues, two days ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg that US President Donald Trump was also due to attend.

Mr Trump’s testy relationship with both China and Germany was pushing the two countries closer together, despite Berlin’s concerns about human rights in China and frustrations over market access.

“Chinese-German relations are now about to have a new start where we need new breakthroughs,” Mr Xi told a joint news conference with Ms Merkel in Berlin.

He said he hoped to make a “new blueprint, set our sights on new goals and plan new routes” for co-operation during his visit to Germany.

“We will have difficult discussions, since bringing 20 states together with all their developments and ideas is not easy,” Ms Merkel said.

Meanwhile, German police have used water cannon to disperse around 500 anti-capitalist protesters overnight in the port city of Hamburg where Chancellor Angela Merkel would host leaders of the G20 leading economies in a two-day summit starting on Friday.

Tens of thousands of protesters were expected to march in the city this week against globalisation and what they said was corporate greed and a failure to tackle climate change.

German authorities believe about 8000 demonstrators were prepared to use violence, the interior minister said on Tuesday. Some 20,000 police officers would be deployed.

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