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    Sigmar Gabriel

    German Foreign Ministry Won't Say If China Summoned Envoy Before Gabriel's Visit

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    Germany can neither confirm nor deny that its second highest diplomat in China was summoned to the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday ahead of the German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, the Federal Foreign Office’s spokeswoman said.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) German media reported earlier in the day that a German Embassy envoy was summoned in protest of Berlin’s decision to halt the takeover of Aixtron, a semiconductor equipment producer, by a Chinese buyer over security concerns.

    "I cannot give you any further information," Foreign Office’s spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli told RIA Novosti. "At the moment, I can neither confirm nor deny it."

    This comes just a day before Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel is expected to come to China on a five-day visit. He is reportedly due to meet with Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, on Tuesday. Gabriel, who is also Germany’s economy minister, will head a delegation of up to 60 business executives.

    In an op-ed, published in Die Welt last Saturday, Gabriel accused Germany's key eastern trade partner of playing foul. He said China was limiting European investment and takeovers of Chinese businesses, while at the same time trying to buy hi-tech firms in Europe that worked on strategically important technologies.

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