BERLIN — Premier Li Keqiang’s upcoming visit to Germany will help build up mutual trust and push bilateral ties to a higher level, said Chinese Ambassador to Germany Shi Mingde in an interview with Xinhua on July 5.
Shi made the remarks shortly before Premier Li’s Germany trip, during which he will also attend the fifth round of intergovernmental consultations between China and Germany.
He said since the establishment of the all-dimensional strategic partnership in 2014, the two countries have witnessed strong momentum in bilateral ties over the past four years.
The partnership covers economic, trade, science and technology, and education ties, among other areas, he said. It also includes discussions on maintaining global peace and stability.
He also noted that the strategic mutual trust between the two countries has strengthened. Shi added the two countries not only routinely discuss major issues, but also rely on and support each other.
More importantly, they are both willing to engage in in-depth discussions over some far-reaching topics like the international order and multilateral systems, he added.
On how to further push the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Germany in the future, Shi believed the two sides should promote pragmatic cooperation in at least three areas — in further opening up to each other, strengthening cooperation in science and technology, and exploring new areas of cooperation.
Meanwhile, Shi said that certain concerns from Germany and the wider European Union (EU) about Chinese investment in Germany and the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe are unnecessary.
Chinese investment in Germany equals only one tenth of German investment in China, less than 0.3 percent of total foreign investment in Germany, and is incomparable with German investment in China in terms of quality, he noted.
This shows that investment and acquisitions by Chinese companies are not threats to Germany, but instead have greater potential for growth. China is willing to continuously encourage Chinese companies to invest in Germany to promote two-way opening-up and investment, he said.
In addition, the “16+1” platform comprising China and the 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe is open and inclusive and has always been carried out under the framework of China-EU relations and relevant EU laws and regulations. EU representatives could be invited to attend important events under the “16+1” framework, Shi reiterated.
China’s cooperation with the CEE countries is based solely on the comparative advantages and market needs of both sides. China has no intention to use the “16+1” platform as a geopolitical tool to split the EU, he said.
On the contrary, he said that the “16+1” is conducive to narrowing the internal development gap in Europe, achieving balanced development in Europe and contributing to the acceleration of the continent’s integration.
In a world of growing uncertainties, China and Europe see their interests aligned.
Stronger pragmatic and mutual trust and cooperation between China and Germany and between China and Europe could provide stability to the world, Shi said.
Shi hopes that China and Germany jointly push for an early conclusion to the China-EU Investment Agreement negotiations and start the China-EU Free Trade Area negotiations soon.
Shi also noted that Germany and China as major economies should jointly safeguard an open world economy and multilateral trade system.
He hopes that this round of intergovernmental consultations will release a strong signal to the world, and allow efforts to improve global governance to be a new growth point for China’s relations with Germany and the EU.