Chinese premier calls for China, Germany to play stabilising role in call with German chancellor

China's Premier Li Keqiang speaks during the opening ceremony of the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai, China on Nov 21, 2016.
China's Premier Li Keqiang speaks during the opening ceremony of the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai, China on Nov 21, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for China and Germany to play a leading role to ensure the stability of international markets amid an "uncertain"global political and economic climate, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Wednesday (Jan 25).

During a call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Chinese premier said "international political and economic scenes are facing several uncertain factors," Xinhua reported.

"China and Germany should send stable signals to the global markets and jointly safeguard the existing international system through trade and investment liberalisation," Xinhua said, citing Mr Li.

Amid a turbulent start by new US President Donald Trump, whose first days have been marked by media feuds and protests, China has been playing up its role as a steadying force from global trade to climate change.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, as a keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, also offered a vigorous defence of globalisation and signalled Beijing's desire to play a bigger role on the world stage.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump, who took office last Friday, has already signed an order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact and threatened trade curbs, including a border tax on cars that Germany's BMW plans to build at a new factory in Mexico.

Mr Li also said China would continue as a "staunch supporter"of European integration, amid growing pressure on the bloc following a referendum vote in Britain last year to leave the European Union. Mr Trump has said Brexit could be a "great thing".