German government resists calls to cut China funds
Berlin, July 28: The German government rejected today calls from some conservative politicians to end annual payments the country makes to China.
Top Christian Democrat (CDU) Wolfgang Bosbach and leading Free Democrat (FDP) Rainer Bruederle had questioned annual payments to China of some 92.1 million dollars, saying it was ridiculous to send development aid to the booming Asian country.
The comments came after Germany's chambers of commerce and industry (DIHK) said yesterday that China would overtake Germany as the world's top exporter next year. It is also likely to replace Germany as the world's third biggest economy soon.
But German government spokesman Thomas Steg said it was wrong to view the money as development aid, describing it as funds aimed at encouraging Chinese efforts on renewable energy and other steps to fight climate change.
''This cooperation is clearly in German interests,'' Steg said.
Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul also described the funds as a key part of Germany and China's strategic cooperation and said discontinuing them would be wrong.
The debate comes as Chancellor Angela Merkel mulls new laws that would prevent state-owned funds from China, Russia and the West Asia from taking stakes in ''strategic'' German companies.