German Ambassador: 'No, No, No' Feud Between Trump, Merkel
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 03, 2017,
Jun 03, 2017, 9:24
"Transatlantic ties are of paramount importance to us... but the current situation gives more reasons for... us to take our destiny in our own hands", she said Tuesday. But she pointedly did not back down from earlier comments about Europe's need to rely on itself rather than its friends.
Without mentioning the USA specifically, Mr Li said that "China in recent years has stayed true to its commitment", and pointed out that it was one of the first countries to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Speaking at a news briefing on Tuesday after Trump intensified a dispute with Germany by calling Berlin's trade and spending policies "very bad", White House spokesman Sean Spicer looked to cool rising tensions.
Mr. Trump escalated the feud Tuesday by tweeting: "We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation & military".
Mr Trump is said to be considering withdrawing the United States from the landmark climate deal, which his predecessor Barack Obama hammered out after protracted talks over years.
The fallout from the discordant European leg of US President Donald Trump's first major overseas trip continues to reverberate in capitals around the world.
Whatever electoral benefit Ms. Merkel might gain from her statements about Mr. Trump, neither Europe nor the US can afford a rupture in their Atlantic partnership. Notably, he has pushed back on long-standing US demands for Germany to spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense - something Trump pushed during last week's meeting of the leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Despite a significant increase in the 2017 budget, the continent's biggest economy will spend just 1.2 percent on defense.
The eurozone's big three economies, Germany, France and Italy, are sharply at odds with the United States over climate change, the future of worldwide trade and the management of mass migration. Trump has tweeted a promise that he will make a final decision this week on whether the U.S. will honour the Paris accord in which nations agreed to try to curb their greenhouse emissions.
While China needs EU technical know-how to fight the pollution blighting its cities, the European Union is looking to Beijing to take action against emissions blamed for increased droughts, rising seas and other affects of climate change.