China, Germany pledge closer innovative partnership

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Still the European Union remains cautious about the direction of its second-largest trading partner, concerned by its militarisation of islands in the South China Sea and a turn toward authoritarianism under Xi.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) attends a welcome ceremony held by German Chancellor Angela Merkel before an annual meeting between the heads of the two countries' governments in Berlin, Germany, May 31, 2017.

Li, who concluded an official visit to Germany this Thursday and arrived in Brussels, Belgium, as part of his three-day tour of the area, announced the agreement during a joint press conference with Merkel. As well as discussions on U.S. protectionism and global climate concerns, talk also hinged around trade and the North Korean crisis.

The EU also wants an investment treaty with China to open the huge Chinese market to European companies and remove onerous rules forcing them to share know-how.

She agreed with Li that the two countries should encourage mutually beneficial cooperation between big and small business, deepen cooperation between higher education and vocational education, and expand social involvement of Germany-China partnership of innovation.

He added, "Fighting climate change is a global consensus, it's not invented by China. and we realize that this is a global consensus agreement and that as a big developing nation we should shoulder our worldwide responsibility".

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Meanwhile, Trump will announce his decision on whether to withdraw from the Paris climate deal on Friday, as media reports said that a USA exit was likely.

Reuters cited a document which stated: "The EU and China consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever".

China, a large developing country, should shoulder its global responsibilities to jointly address the challenge of climate change with other countries, Li said.

Jerry Brown of California, Jay Inslee of Washington state and Andrew Cuomo of NY have formed the U.S. Climate Alliance to uphold the Paris climate agreement.

The draft also called the Paris Agreement a "historic achievement" and "proof that with shared political will and mutual trust, multilateralism can succeed in building fair and effective solutions to the most critical global problems of our time".

He and others hope a state level movement to cap greenhouse gases and carbon emissions will prove to the world that when it comes to environment, the United States could still lead the way.

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