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Wen Jiabao bearing “gifts before the summit,” headlines Berliner Zeitung. The release of two dissidents, the artist Ai Weiwei and the civil rights activist Hu Jia, is not a coincidence, the paper says: it comes in the run-up to the Chinese premier’s arrival in Germany, on June 27, where he will take part in the first ever intergovernmental talks between the two countries. The move will help to counter possible criticism of China’s record on human rights at the meeting, which will involve 13 Chinese ministers.

Before then, however, Angela Merkel and Wen Jiabao will have dined “at an idyllic spot on the shores of Lake Wannsee” in the German capital. Relations between Germany and China have been strained ever since Angela Merkel received the Dalai Lama on an official visit in 2007. Berlin is now hoping to establish more cordial relations with a country that is crucial to its economy. In 2010, trade between Germany and China was worth 130 billion euros.