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Germany and China should cooperate on protecting climate: Merkel

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Li, who concluded an official visit to Germany this Thursday and arrived in Brussels, Belgium, as part of his three-day tour of the area, announced the agreement during a joint press conference with Merkel.

Without mentioning the U.S. 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.

The two leaders held wide-ranging talks that covered issues including trade, a European Union-China investment deal, civil rights, the North Korea crisis and climate change.

At the G7 summit of wealthy nations this weekend, European and Canadian officials warned Trump that the USA risked ceding global leadership on combating climate change to China if it withdrew from the pact.

Trump is expected to announce his decision on Thursday afternoon US time (3 p.m. EDT; 1900 GMT). "We continue to lobby the USA at all levels to continue to take climate change extremely seriously".

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Russian Federation joined the chorus speaking out in favour of the climate accord. "In fact, there is no better time for China to further its worldwide climate leadership", he said. Beijing and Washington were widely seen as playing a key role in securing the Paris deal.

"China will stand by its responsibilities on climate change", he told reporters in Berlin, according to a German translation. "We have underscored those commitments once again". "It has to be a shared leadership with other nations", Zhang said.

Li said that China hopes the two countries could work together to offset global uncertainties with a stable bilateral relationship, so as to send positive signals of stability, cooperation and development to regions and the world at large. They also signed a multitude of business deals.

Beijing would also encounter more resistance at home to its efforts to curb energy-intensive industries and greenhouse gas emissions if the USA withdrew from the pact, according to Zou Ji, a former Chinese climate negotiator.

Li Shuo noted that China had undergone a remarkable transformation in the past decade - from climate spoiler at the 2009 Copenhagen summit, to a somewhat reluctant, cautious leader in the run-up to the 2015 Paris conference, to actively embracing the concept of climate leadership in the Trump era. "Please don't change the (political) climate for the worse", European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted.

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