Chinese President Xi Jinping told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday that as big nations with influence, China and Germany should work together all the more during “times of change and turmoil” for the sake of world peace, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Scholz kicked off his one-day visit to China, the first by a G7 leader in three years, by meeting with Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Scholz told Xi that it was good both leaders were meeting in person during tense times, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine creating problems for the rules-based global order, according to Reuters.
Scholz also said that the two will discuss issues related to Europe-China relations, the fight against climate change and global hunger, and how to develop China-Germany economic ties, as well as topics where both countries’ perspective is different.
On the same day, Scholz announced an agreement to let expatriates in China use the COVID-19 vaccine from Germany’s BioNTech and pressed for Beijing to allow the shot to be made freely available to Chinese citizens.
The two countries “agreed on close cooperation in the fight against the pandemic,” Scholz said in a briefing alongside the Chinese premier Li Keqiang.
“This also includes an approval of the BioNTech vaccine for expatriates in China. Of course, this can only be a first step. I hope that the circle of eligible persons can soon be widened to a general free ability of the BioNTech vaccine.”