Germany's Merkel to hold farewell talks with China's Li on Monday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attend virtual talks
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BERLIN (Reuters) -German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold virtual farewell talks on Monday with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and will also receive European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, a German government spokesperson said on Friday.

Merkel and Li will discuss bilateral and international relations, economic issues, climate change and preparations for the G20 summit, the spokesperson told a regular government news conference.

The announcement follows a report in Britain's The Times newspaper that Chinese President Xi Jinping will not travel to Scotland next month to attend the COP26 climate summit in person.

Asked if Merkel and Li would discuss China's contribution to the global fight against climate change, the spokesperson said the topic was certainly going to come up.

"The German government assumes that the Chinese side will make a decisive contribution to climate protection by reducing the risks of climate change," she said.

The meeting with von der Leyen, a former German defence minister in Merkel's government, will focus on current political issues, the spokesperson said.

After 16 years of leading Germany, Merkel plans to step down after a new government has been formed following last month's federal election, in which her conservatives came second after the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).

(Reporting by Christian Kraemer; Writing by Zuzanna Szymanska; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Gareth Jones)

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