Wen in Germany, warns against rights lectures


Germany and China held their first joint cabinet meeting Tuesday and were to ink billions in new business contracts, but Premier Wen Jiabao warned Europe against interfering in its internal affairs. Wen arrived in Berlin late Monday from London where he and British Prime Minister David Cameron signed trade deals worth 1.6 billion euros while the Chinese premier brushed aside questions over Beijing’s rights record.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, Wen and a total of 23 ministers were to sign 22 state cooperation pacts and deals worth “several billion euros,” the German leader said. While Berlin has rolled out the red carpet, starting with an informal dinner for Wen and his inner circle hosted by Merkel at a lakeside villa Monday, it insists it will not soft-pedal human rights concerns for the sake of commerce. “We have different opinions on certain issues but I am confident we can discuss them,” Merkel said at the dinner.
But Wen said Tuesday he would not accept lectures from European partners. “China respects the political system and the development model chosen by the citizens of the EU,” he told a conference of German and Chinese business leaders at a Berlin hotel.