China's President Xi Jinping is trying to save the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment - on hold as a result of sanctions imposed by the European Union and China in March over alleged China human rights abuses against Muslim-Uyghurs.

Xi encouraged Germany and the EU to join with China to protect and promote their cooperation to bring certainty and stability to the world. Xi said China was willing to work with the EU to deepen "pragmatic cooperation."

Xi said doing so would bring vitality to China-EU cooperation and increase confidence in the world economy's revival from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

The agreement is the largest free trade deal China has concluded with the EU.

Germany, the EU and China should strengthen bilateral ties, Germany said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her government was ready to start negotiations to resume travel with China.

Merkel, however, made no mention of the trade agreement. She has said China must make it easier for European companies to do business in China. Merkel said there were too many hurdles for European companies to overcome when investing in China. "For the investment agreement with China,  we naturally expect reciprocity," she said.

In March the European Parliament said the lifting of Chinese sanctions was a precondition to the resumption of trade-deal talks. The EU, the U.S., Canada and the UK sanctioned four China government officials and a construction company over human rights abuses against the Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority group.

China responded by imposing sanctions of its own against 10 EU citizens. China blacklisted four EU entities, too.