Merkel heads to China to talk economy, trade, rule of law

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is heading to China with a business delegation as both Beijing and the European Union are grappling with the United States over trade issues and Washington's rejection of the Iran nuclear deal.

Merkel, who is set to leave Wednesday afternoon, said in her weekly video message her talks with Chinese leaders will address issues such as the rule of law, the economic situation and international disputes such as those over trade.

Despite tensions in relations with the U.S., German officials have been keen to stress their continued commitment to trans-Atlantic ties and dismiss suggestions that Germany is seeking alternative alliances even as they find common ground with Russia and China on the Iran nuclear deal and other issues.