Accompanied by a 20 strong trade delegation, she is scheduled to meet President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao in the capital.
On Friday, she will visit Guangdong province with Mr Wen and executives from various industries.
This is her fifth visit to China, a strategic economic partner for Germany.
Chinese purchases of German goods have kept the German economy growing much faster than that of other European countries, he adds, and Chinese imports of German technology embodied in machinery for Chinese factories has allowed the Chinese economy to improve.
Ms Merkel is expected to deliver a speech on the economic crisis in the European Union - a key item on her agenda - at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Thursday.
She is also likely to seek support from China for a UN Security Council resolution against Syria and urge Beijing not to increase its imports of Iranian oil, following EU bans last month.
Also on the agenda is access to what are called "rare earth elements" used in the manufacture of many electronics components. China mines 97% of the global supply and has been accused of limiting its supply to fetch higher prices.