German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the role of an independent judiciary and the need for a level playing field for foreign firms as she begun her ninth trip to China since taking office, Reuters reports. Merkel arrived in China on Sunday amid growing pressure from industry and rights groups to confront the Chinese more forcefully. The Chinese government is overseeing a broad crackdown on rights groups and activists, and is facing complaints from foreign firms about market access restrictions. Speaking to students at a Beijing university, Merkel explained the importance of real rule of law, explaining that “everyone is equal” before it, meaning that court rulings should be transparent.
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