BERLIN — With some experts warning that the “golden decade” of rapid growth in German-Chinese trade and dealings may be ending, Chancellor Angela Merkel embarks this weekend on her seventh visit to China, accompanied by top people from German business who, surveys indicate, are still markedly more optimistic about China than are their European counterparts.
Like many people raised in Communist East Germany, where travel abroad was tightly restricted, Ms. Merkel is an avid traveler. As a trained scientist, she is also keenly interested in innovation, and in China she always travels to Beijing and at least one other province for a firsthand look at joint ventures and new Chinese research and enterprises.
This trip takes her first to Chengdu, capital of western Sichuan Province, which, government officials noted, has a population almost as big as Germany’s 82 million. In Chengdu, she will meet the province’s leadership and visit a joint venture operated by the German automaker Volkswagen and a social center designed to help the children of migrant workers. From there, Ms. Merkel flies to Beijing, where she will be received with military honors by Prime Minister Li Keqiang and attend a dinner hosted by President Xi Jinping, but also meet film directors and address students at Tsinghua University.