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Germany's Merkel Urges China To Open Up Markets

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (file photo)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged China to open up its markets during talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing.

Merkel arrived in China on July 15 on a three day-visit expected to focus on economic cooperation.

China is Germany's largest trade partner in Asia, and Germany is the biggest European trade partner for China, with bilateral trade valued at some $100 billion last year.

After the meeting, Merkel said that China had not yet reached the point where the European Union could classify it as a market economy.

But the joint communique said Germany would support the recognition of China as a market economy by the EU.

Such recognition would bring trading advantages for China.

Merkel was scheduled to meet with President Hu Jintao later today.

compiled from agency reports