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Premier Li: China, Germany should promote trade liberalization amid protectionism

China and Germany should work together to promote trade liberalization amid rising protectionism, Premier Li Keqiang said when meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on May 31.

Premier Li called for joint efforts between the two countries to continue promoting trade liberalization, facilitating investment and safeguarding the regulations of the World Trade Organization in face of anti-globalization sentiment, rising protectionism as well as uncertainties of international situations.

The two countries should promote global economic governance together and facilitate strong, sustainable and balanced growth of world economy, he stressed.

The Premier is on an official visit to Germany for an annual meeting between the two heads of government, a mechanism launched in 2004. Merkel held a welcoming ceremony for Premier Li earlier on May 31 before their talks.

Taking bilateral partnership to new heights

During his meeting with the German chancellor, Premier Li called on the two countries to further deepen cooperation and expand mutual openness in order to bring their comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights.

China and Germany established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014.

The economies of the two countries are complementary with great potential of cooperation, Premier Li said, adding that China is willing to reinforce exchanges of their respective strategies on manufacturing, namely China’s “Made in China 2025” and Germany’s “Industry 4.0.”

He said that China hopes the two countries could work together to offset global uncertainties with a stable bilateral relationship, so as to send positive signals of stability, cooperation and development to regions and the world at large.

The two sides should consolidate mutual trust, strengthen bilateral cooperation and enhance communication in a spirit of mutual respect and equality, Premier Li added.

Merkel calls China ‘reliable partner’

Merkel described China as a reliable partner of Germany, emphasizing the importance of maintaining close communication between leaders of the two sides.

Germany would like to enhance cooperation with China in the fields of investment, finance, new energy vehicles, healthcare and people-to-people exchanges, she indicated.

Merkel said Germany appreciates China’s support to the integration of Europe and looks forward to a fruitful EU-China leaders’ meeting later this week.