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China-Germany ties facing new development opportunities

Updated: Oct 28,2015 8:54 PM     Xinhua

BERLIN — “The Chinese-German relations are facing new development opportunities, and are expected to continue a stable development at a high level and to play a leading role in China-Europe ties,” said Chinese Ambassador to Germany Shi Mingde.

Shi made the remarks in a recent interview with Xinhua, ahead of an official visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to China from Oct 29 to 30.

Since 2005, Merkel as chancellor has paid seven visits to China, the most among all German chancellors. She has also kept a record among leaders of European countries regarding the visit frequency. Her predecessors, including Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schroeder, also have visited China many times as chancellor.

“Developing relations with China is the consensus of major political forces in Germany. The bilateral ties between China and Germany have a solid political foundation. Chinese leaders also attach great importance to developing relations with Germany,” said Shi, noting that mutual trust and frequent exchange of visits between leaders of the two countries are of significance for promoting bilateral ties.

China and Germany have witnessed all-around and rapid development of their relations in recent years, the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries has achieved fruitful results, Shi said.

According to the ambassador, the trade volume between China and Germany has reached $177.8 billion in 2014, accounting for around 30 percent of China-EU trade volume. China is Germany’s largest trading partner outside the European Union. For China, Germany is its largest trading partner as well as the most important source country of technology transfer and investment in Europe.

Sino-German cooperation, said Shi, is not only in the interest of both countries, but also conducive to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.

“Both China and Germany have significant international influence. The two countries have maintained close cooperation in international affairs and are both actively committed to addressing focus issues through political and diplomatic means,” he added.

China will hold the rotating presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20) in 2016. Shi said that China and Germany as G20 members would further strengthen coordination in macroeconomic policy within the G20 framework, and work together to construct and maintain an open world economy as well as promote the establishment of a more equitable global economic governance system.

At present, the Chinese-German relations are facing new development opportunities, raising hope that it will continue to develop stably at a high level and play a leading role in China-Europe ties, the ambassador stressed.

“Last year, China and Germany agreed on a leading role of innovation in the future bilateral cooperation. This is the first time that China has established a broad innovative partnership with a Western power,” he explained.

Secondly, bilateral cooperation has broad prospects and can achieve mutual benefit in the field of high-end manufacturing; In addition, the two countries can enhance their cooperation to jointly promote the Belt and Road Initiative.

Speaking of the main challenges facing the ties between China and Germany in the coming years, Shi noted that the two countries should fundamentally promote mutual understanding between the two peoples.

He urged both sides to look at each other in an objective manner. “Especially the German society should further its understanding of China’s national conditions and development,” he added.

Besides, China and Germany should handle their differences properly and continue to tap new growth points of bilateral ties.

“As the Chinese saying goes, rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back. China and Germany should have a long-term perspective, and continue to tap potential and step up cooperation in order to lift bilateral relations to higher levels,” the ambassador concluded.

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