BEIJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pay an official visit to China on Friday and Saturday at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
The following is a profile of Merkel.
Merkel was born in Hamburg in July 1954 and earned a doctorate in physics at the University of Leipzig.
Before entering politics, she worked and studied at the Central Institute at the then East Germany's Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences from 1978 to 1990.
In November 1989, Merkel joined the opposition Democratic Awakening movement. In 1990, she briefly served as the deputy spokeswoman for the government of conservative Lothar de Maiziere, the last prime minister of East Germany before unification.
In August 1990, Merkel joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and was later elected to the federal parliament of the reunified Germany.
From 1991 to 1998, Merkel was the CDU's deputy chairperson. She also served as federal minister for women and youth from 1991 to 1994, and federal minister for environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety from 1994 to 1998.
Merkel was secretary general of the CDU from 1998 to 2000, and served as chairperson from April 2000 to December 2018. From September 2002 to November 2005, she was also chair of the CDU and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) parliamentary coalition.
In November 2005, Merkel became German chancellor and was re-elected in October 2009, December 2013 and March 2018 respectively.
In August 1997, Merkel visited China as federal minister for environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety. As chancellor, she has made 11 trips to China, respectively in May 2006, August 2007, October 2008, July 2010, February 2012, August 2012, July 2014, October 2015, June 2016, September 2016, and May 2018.
Merkel is a Christian, and is married.