What could Germany’s leader be doing at a public market in Chengdu on a Sunday morning?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on her seventh-visit to China since she took office in 2005, was shopping for ingredients for her favorite Chinese cuisine.
Attracting a crowd of onlookers and vendors, plus the usual coterie of media people, Merkel stopped by a grocery store and paid 5 yuan (80 US cents) for a bag of chilli bean paste, Beijing Times reported Monday.
She proceeded to a famous restaurant nearby where she observed chefs making the popular local dish kung pao chicken. The German leader was said to have good chopstick skills and found the dish “very good” as she invited others to try it.
Chengdu, capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan province, was the first leg of her three-day visit. She was there to attend the China-German Urbanization Cooperation Forum, showing the western nation’s strong interest in expanding its economic footprint in western China, the newspaper said. She also visited a joint-venture carmaking facility of Volkswagen and FAW in the city.
Premier Li Keqiang met Merkel in Beijing on Sunday afternoon. The two countries are expected to sign 10 economic and trade deals.
Merkel is also expected to discuss with China’s top leaders regional and international issues, including the crisis in Ukraine, the report said.
German is China’s largest trade partner in Europe, and the two countries’ bilateral trade volume accounts from one-third of the total between China and Europe.
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