German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned China that Europe will start limiting Beijing’s access to its market for trade if it does not agree to provide a major opening.
“If there is no market access from the Chinese side for certain areas, this will of course also be reflected in the fact that market access to the European market will be narrower,” Merkel was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Speaking at a press conference on Friday (local time) in Brussels after a two-day special EU summit, Merkel had said, “We naturally expect reciprocity for the investment agreement with China,” Merkel said. “We find that the barriers to entry with regard to China are still too high. This will now be discussed further.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Merkel had criticised China over recent developments in Hong Kong and other “dreadful and often horrible” human rights issues.
Merkel had made the remarks on Wednesday while addressing the Bundestag, the German Parliament.
“Looking at the development challenges for China, these targets really are ambitious and they should provide an inspiration for us in Europe as well, to live up to our promises,” she had said.
Union special summit is where all heads of government have gathered to discuss China as a top item of the agenda, underlining Europe’s deepening sense of unease amid the US-China rivalry.