Angela Merkel has concluded a farewell summit in Washington DC With US president Joe Biden. Chancellor Merkel is set to step down as head of the German Government following national elections in September. The meeting between the two leaders seek to reaffirm transatlantic ties but key differences remained unresolved especially around NATO defence spending, Covid Vaccines and the threat of China.
DW reporter William Glucroft said: “There are soo many differences in this relationship which have no clear strategy for resolving.
“As much as they say they want to resolve them and want to remain on a friendly agreeable path.
“You have China for example the US sees it not just as an economic threat but also a strategic military one.
“Germany and Europe more broadly basically only sees it as an economic opportunity.
“You have European and common security with Germany there in what it is ready to commit in terms of security, military, and defence.
“Of course Covid travel, Americans can travel to the European Union but Germans and other Europeans can’t travel to the US.
“There is no clear resolution of that.
“And of the course the vaccine pattern question, Germany want to go with the Covax route to get vaccines into low-income countries and Biden already said months ago he is ready to wave patents to allow other countries to develop them.”
The pair tread a careful line on China amid a failure to agree on a clear common policy.
Berlin as looked to woo Chinese investment while Joe Biden has taken a hardline stance against growing Chinese influence globally.
“There is a lot of common understanding that China, in many areas, is our competitor; that trade with China needs to rest on the assumption that we have a level playing field,” stated Ms Merkel.
“We are united, united in our commitment to addressing democratic backsliding, corruption, phony populism in the European Union or among candidates for the EU membership, or anywhere we find it in the world,” added Mr Biden.