Merkel says China and Germany standing by Iran nuclear deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel walking alongside Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a two-day visit to China on May 24, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS, XINHUA) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday (May 24) China and Germany are standing by the existing nuclear deal with Iran after the United States left the 2015 accord earlier this month.

Merkel made the comment during a joint news briefing with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at Beijing's Great Hall of the People during a two-day visit to China.

Merkel said China's investments in Germany are in order and favourable to Germans.

Li said China has always supported a unified and prosperous Europe and that China and Germany uphold free trade.

"We want to strengthen multilateralism. And that will play a role in our discussion," Merkel said in a podcast published on Saturday.

According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, goods worth 186.6 billion euros (US$219billion) were traded between Germany and China in 2017.

And China was Germany's most important trading partner in 2017 for the second consecutive year. During her trip,

Merkel will visit Shenzhen during her trip to China. The southern Chinese city is home to the headquarters of a number of leading hi-tech and innovative Chinese home-grown enterprises, including Tencent and ZTE.

Xinhua said the city's environment is attractive to foreign investors, including those from Germany.

Premier Li said on Thursday China hopes to talk about human rights cases on an equal basis with Germany during a visit by German Chancellor Angela

Merkel to the Chinese capital. Li made the comments in a joint briefing in Beijing after the two leaders were asked about Liu Xia, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xia has been under effective house arrest since her husband died of liver cancer in Chinese custody in July last year, according to Beijing-based Western diplomats.

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