In what may likely be her last visit to Washington as German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday vowed to work together to defend against Russian aggression and stand up to anti-democratic actions by China.
Biden reiterated his concerns about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, but he and Merkel were united in their belief that Russia should not use energy as a weapon.
"We stand together and will continue to stand together to defend our eastern flank allies at NATO against Russian aggression." During the joint news conference at the White House, Biden said both countries would stand up for democratic principles and universal rights when they saw China or any other country working to undermine a free and open society.
“The situation in Hong Kong has deteriorated and the Chinese government is not keeping its commitment made. How it would deal with Hong Kong and so it is more of an advisory is to what may happen in Hong Kong. It's as simple as that and as complicated as that.”
During talks in the Oval Office earlier in the day, Biden called Merkel a “great friend” and said cooperation between the U.S. and Germany is “strong” and enduring – a sentiment echoed by Merkel.
“I'd like to say here how much I value friendship with the United States of America. I am more than aware of the contribution of America to a free and democratic Germany.”
Merkel, who has served as chancellor since 2005 and has worked with four U.S. presidents during her tenure, plans to exit Germany's government after national elections in September.