Prospect China

China and Germany: A new special relationship?

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China's relationship with Germany has evolved a lot in the past few years.

A strategic partnership in 2004 evolved into a "comprehensive" strategic partnership at the end of 2014.

Politically, Germany views China as a key partner and important elements of their bilateral trade negotiations include high-level coordination on policy, dynamic trade relations, investment, the environment, culture and science.

CNBC highlights the major trading connections between the two countries and how that could change over time.

Trading partners

China is one of Germany's largest trading partners in the world. According to data from the German Chamber of Commerce, bilateral trade reached a record high of 154 billion euros ($169.3 billion) in 2014. The report also shows that German exports to China have been growing strongly with a total of 5,200 German companies operating in China as of 2015.

While Germans have on many occasions complained of bureaucratic hurdles such as corruption in the Chinese system, the economic relations between the two countries has still grown over the years.

According to official data, German exports are dominated by automobiles and machinery, which together account for more than half of Germany's total exports to China. Other items such as electrical products, op