China is willing to enhance high-level exchanges with Germany and widen communication on issues of mutual concern－which is especially appropriate this year, as 2017 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries－Premier Li Keqiang said on May 15.
Premier Li made the remarks in a meeting with Brigitte Zypries, Germany’s minister for economics and energy, who was in Beijing as a special representative of Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
Calling Germany a vital partner, Premier Li said China believes the country will continue to play a constructive role in cementing healthy, stable relations-not only with Germany but also with the European Union.
He also said that China will support Germany in hosting the G20 Summit, scheduled for Hamburg later this year.
Zypries extended Merkel’s greetings to Premier Li. She said that China and Germany currently enjoy a healthy and solid relationship, and her country is willing to take steps to strengthen it even more.
Also on May 15, Premier Li met with UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who came to the Beijing forum as the special envoy of British Prime Minister Teresa May.
Hammond passed along greetings and a letter to Premier Li from the prime minister, saying she was “very disappointed as she could not come”.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said earlier that the leaders of the United Kingdom and Germany were positive about the forum, but unable to attend because of scheduling conflicts.
Premier Li said the continued development of Sino-British ties, as well as closer communication on global issues, is of critical significance for both countries. He called on the two countries to send positive signals about free trade and investment.
A highlight of cooperation between China and the UK is the implementation of agreements in key areas, such as nuclear power and finance, Premier Li said.
The UK, Hammond said, is willing to further enhance bilateral trade and investment cooperation with China, while deepening the exchange of ideas on global affairs.
Speaking at the forum on May 14, Hammond said Britain－which lies at the western end of the Belt and Road-is a natural partner in the endeavor.