The finance ministries of both countries announced yesterday that they would apply for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Last week, the US issued a rare rebuke to Britain over its decision to become a member of the AIIB. Washington considers it a rival to the World Bank, which it backs.
The UK was the first western economy to apply for membership of the bank.
German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble made the announcement at a joint news conference with visiting Chinese vice premier Ma Kai, at which no questions were allowed. He added that Germany would be a founding member of the bank.
A joint statement by the foreign and finance ministers of Germany, France and Italy said they would work to ensure the new institution “follows the best standards and practices in terms of governance, safeguards, debt and procurement policies”.
The US has questioned the governance standards at the new institution, which is seen as spreading Chinese “soft power”.