The Far East, Terrorism, the United Nations, Worldwide Economic Trends and mutual Economic Cooperation were the themes during the beginning of Chinese president Jiang Zemin's visit to Germany. Broad-ranging agreements were reached with Chancellor Schroeder on Tuesday regarding international conditions, so we were told.
Prior to that, President Rau spoke about human rights and the Rule of Law. President Rau pointed to the dismal situation of the Christian churches in China and asserted that in Germany, churches and society are coexisting peacefully. Jiang declared his willingness to address open questions, step by step, but pointed to the strained atmosphere since September 11, 2001. According to a government spokesperson, President Rau underscored that freedom and security are not mutually exclusive, but carry the same responsibility for establishing a peaceful world.
Criticism was voiced over the media's treatment during this visit. A planned press meeting following the dialogue between Jiang and Schroeder was cancelled. As early as Monday, the media and press became disgruntled and voiced their objections over the fact that during a parliamentary press conference, no German press representatives were allowed to ask questions due to an order put forth by Chinese sources, to shield Jiang.
Tuesday afternoon, Jiang kept a rotating, half-hour meeting schedule at the Adlon Hotel, receiving such dignitaries as the Party Chiefs Merkel, Westerwelle and Zimmer, as well as the previous Chancellor Kohl. CSU-Chief, Stoiber cancelled his meeting with Jiang because of a church-related debate in Bavaria's parliament. The Greens Party wanted to send their CEO and China Expert Reinhardt Buetikofer, "because he would be the most successful to deliver all pertinent messages within the allotted 20-minute time span." The Chinese side insisted, though, that only heads of parties would be considered, so the Green Party (a member of Germany's ruling coalition) was not represented.
Jiang's visit, which by Saturday will also have taken him to Potsdam, Dresden, Wolfsburg and Goslar, was accompanied by protests. Amnesty International demonstrated in front of the Rote Rathaus (Red City Hall), where officiating Mayor Wowereit discussed the sister city arrangements between Berlin and Beijing with Jiang. Falun Gong protested in front of the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden (a prominent street) and outside Hotel Adlon.
(Original text in German)
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