German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in China on Sunday for her seventh visit since 2005, with economic ties topping the agenda and a high-powered business delegation in tow.
Merkel touched down early Sunday in the southwestern city of Chengdu, where she met local officials, visited a market and toured a factory operated by German car manufacturer Volkswagen.
The worldâs giant economic power, China is aiming at deepening its ties and increasing its influence in Central Asia through a new project called the âSilk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road,â an initiative stretching from Europe to Asia.
âThe oppositions in Hong Kong should understand and accept that Hong Kong is not an independent country. They should not think that they have the ability to turn Hong Kong into Ukraine or Thailand,â warned the Global Times, the most aggressively nationalistic of Chinaâs state-run newspapers.
China has banned civil servants, students and teachers in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from taking part in Ramadan fasting, government websites said, prompting condemnation from an exile group on Wednesday.
China's ruling Communist party is officially atheist, and for years has restricted fasting in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday issued a joint statement pledging to boost strategic bilateral ties following a visit by the two men to Piraeus, where Chinese shipping giant Cosco is seeking to expand its presence and which Li said could become Chinas gateway to Europe.