The Chinese ambassador to Germany sought to assure Europe that China is committed to opening its market more to foreign competition in an interview with Die Welton Thursday.
However, the official stressed that the country would have to do so gradually to protect its domestic firms, Reuters reports.
Shi Mingde, the German ambassador, was likely trying to make sure ties between Berlin and Beijing remain tight as China faces tensions from Washington over trade. China and Germany often portray themselves as allies in the struggle to preserve the liberal global trading system, but the two nations also have issues of their own, not least China’s acquisitions of German firms in key strategic industries.
“Political relations between China and Germany are as close and as good as never before”, Shi told Die Welt. “With no other country does China maintain such intense relations.”
However, Shi reminded Germany that China would not throw open its markets, suggesting that to do so would be impossible given China’s status as a developing nation.
“I admit that the German market is more open than the Chinese market, and we will continue to open,” Shi said. “But not all at once, because we have to protect our domestic businesses.”