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China, Germany agree to speed up talks on China-EU investment agreement, enrich bilateral ties

Updated: Jun 2,2017 5:26 AM     Xinhua

BERLIN — China and Germany have agreed to speed up negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement so as to further enrich the two countries’ cooperation and ties.

Visiting Premier Li Keqiang and his German counterpart, Angela Merkel, made the announcement on June 1 during a joint press conference at the German Chancellery in Berlin.

The investment deal will benefit the two-way opening-up and equality between the Chinese and EU markets, and improve the mutual trade and investment scales of two sides.

As major trading partners for each other, it is necessary for China and the European Union to discuss the feasibility of the establishment of free trade zone, Premier Li said.

For her part, Merkel said Germany attaches great attention to the EU-China investment treaty, adding that the signing of the treaty will be a good start of negotiations on an EU-China free trade agreement.

China is willing to work with Germany to actively promote economic globalization and resolve disputes in a proper way, so as to send positive signals to the world that the two countries will maintain the course of trade liberalization and investment facilitation, Premier Li said.

The stable and mature China-Germany ties will inject positive power of stability, cooperation and development to the world with growing uncertainties, Premier Li added.

As China opens her door wider to the world, more market opportunities will be provided and mutual benefits and win-win outcomes will be achieved, Premier Li said.

During the two-day official visit to Germany, the Premier also held an annual meeting with Merkel, attended an innovation-themed forum and delivered a keynote speech and meet with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Premier Li and Merkel also witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation documents in the fields of economy and trade, new-energy vehicles, trilateral cooperation, finance and artificial intelligence.

When it comes to the climate change issue, Premier Li said China will continue to work steadfastly to implement the commitment of the Paris climate deal and join hands with all parties to tackle climate change.

China, a large developing country, should shoulder its international responsibilities to jointly address the challenge of climate change with other countries, Premier Li said.

Combating climate change is a global consensus, he said, adding that “with tremendous efforts, China will move towards the 2030 goal step-by-step steadfastly.”

China has actively participated in promoting and the signing of the Paris Agreement, Premier Li said, adding that China was also one of the first countries to submit the file of national plan on dealing with climate change to the United Nations.

Premier Li stressed that China will make more efforts to maintain the green, low-carbon and sustainable development course.

The Paris Agreement was adopted by 196 parties in Paris in 2015 and it went into effect in November last year. The pact sets a target of holding the global average rise in temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably below 1.5 degree Celsius.

So far, 147 parties representing more than 82 percent of greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the agreement.

As for the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Merkel said that the EU need to fulfill its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s Accession to the WTO.

The EU supports the WTO obligations and is committed to seeking solutions in line with the rules, Merkel said, adding that the solutions should offer equal treatments to all countries and treat Chinese enterprises in a non-discriminatory way.

Premier Li praised Germany’s support for the EU’s implementation of the obligations under Article 15 and hopes that all sides abide by the norms of international relations as well as the global consensus including the WTO rules.

He urged the 28-nation bloc to fulfill the obligations under Article 15 of China’s accession to the WTO and comply with the organization’s rules when making new regulations that targets unfair trade practice.

For her part, Merkel said China is becoming an increasingly important partner to Germany since the two countries established diplomatic ties 45 years ago, with closer communications in politics, economy and trade as well as people-to-people exchanges. Bilateral cooperation in various industries such as aviation, automobile, recycling economy, scientific research and intelligent manufacturing are also continuously strengthened, Merkel said.

In face of increasing uncertainties in the world, Germany and China have the responsibility to enhance strategic partnership and enrich bilateral cooperation, Merkel noted.

She added that Germany is willing to work with China to make joint contributions to the building of an open global economy as well as the maintenance of free trade.

Before the press conference, Premier Li and Merkel had in-depth exchange of views over issues of common concerns and reached broad consensus.

The Premier is on a three-day official visit to Europe. He arrived in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium on the afternoon of June 1.

In Brussels, the Premier will co-chair the 19th China-EU leaders’ meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and pay an official visit to Belgium.

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