Last year, Germany launched a strategy to "de-risk" from China, but on Saturday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz starts a high-stakes visit there hoping to shore up ties at a delicate point, with the U.S. and EU threatening to hammer Chinese goods in subsidy rows.

With the German economy in the doldrums, its companies are pushing for fairer access to a Chinese market, which they feel still heavily discriminates in favor of local firms despite promises to the contrary.

At the same time, China will likely press Berlin not to fall in behind threatened European Union measures against its cars, solar and wind park equipment that Brussels feels are being dumped on its market too cheaply.