PRAGUE – When German Chancellor Angela Merkel declined US President Donald Trump’s invitation for a G7 summit in Washington in June, it was the latest indication of how far the two sides have drifted in recent years. With Merkel a likely no-show, the meeting has been pushed back until September.
That’s the same month when Chinese and European leaders will meet in the German city of Leipzig for their own special summit, at which the tone of future European Union-China relations will likely be set after a deterioration in recent months over the Covid-19 pandemic.
Before the pandemic struck, the summit was expected to serve as venue for a major breakthrough in talks over an EU-China investment pact, which has been under discussion since 2013. The EU had also hoped to win Beijing’s agreement on various multilateral issues, not least climate change.
For Germany’s long-ruling…