BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would raise concerns about Chinese steel production and a new Chinese law that restricts non-governmental organizations during a pending trip to Beijing.
Merkel heads to the Chinese capital on Saturday for the ninth time since taking office in 2005 and she is under growing pressure from German industry and rights groups to confront the Chinese more forcefully.
In her weekly podcast, Merkel said she would address China’s new NGO law, due to come into force on Jan. 1, 2017, and call for the work of all political foundations and other groups “not to be too negatively influenced”.
The legislation grants broad powers to Chinese police to question NGO workers, monitor their finances, regulate their work and shut down offices.
Merkel said she will also broach the topic of the steel market, saying that the situation was currently “very complicated” for all EU member states as China produces 50 percent of worldwide steel.
Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Mark Heinrich