With the COVID-19 crisis wreaking economic havoc, Germany is eager to reboot trade with China. But German politicians and rights groups cautioned that boosting economic ties cannot come at the expense of human rights.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang during a video conference.

In a statement, Merkel’s spokesman said the two leaders discussed a range of issues, with economic issues strongly in focus.

The chancellor “highlighted the need for further steps on market access … and equal treatment of foreign companies,” her spokesman Steffen Seibert said after the talks.

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