Diplomatic and Military Affairs

2010 important year for Sino-German ties

Updated: 2011-01-05 14:37


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BERLIN - The year 2010 had special significance for China-Germany relations, Chinese Ambassador to Germany Wu Hongbo said in a recent interview prior to Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Germany.

The two countries expanded high-level exchanges, boosted trade and investment, strengthened political cooperation and upgraded their relations to strategic partnership, he said.

"In 2010, high-ranking and frequent contacts of leaders from both countries have injected new vitality into China-Germany relations," Wu said. "Chinese President Hu Jintao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met five times last year."

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In addition, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, senior Communist Party of China official Li Changchun and State Councilor Ma Kai visited Germany last year, while Merkel, then German President Horst Koehler and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle visited China in the same period.

"China and Germany signed a joint communique in July last year to formally set their relations as a strategic partnership, marking a new starting point of their bilateral relations," Wu said.

"In 2011, China will launch a government consultation mechanism with Germany, the first of its kind with a European Union member state," he said.

The two sides also lifted the existing China-Germany strategic dialogue, launched in 2006, from vice-ministerial level to ministerial level, he added.

On economic ties, Wu said trade volume between the two countries in the past year was expected to reach at least 130 billion U.S. dollars, setting a new high.

"As the world's leading export countries, China and Germany share common interests and similar viewpoints. Both sides oppose trade and investment protectionism," Wu said. "China and Germany also hold similar positions on the reform of global economic and financial systems and the strengthening of government supervision on the finance industry."

At the Group of 20 summit held last November in South Korea and the United Nations climate change conference which concluded in December in Mexico, the two countries demonstrated effective communication and coordination, he said.

The ambassador also noted that cultural exchanges between China and Germany last year witnessed new progress "in depth, scope and manner."

"Both the German and the Chinese Pavilions were among the most popular sites in Shanghai World Expo, and a project named 'Germany and China -- Moving Ahead Together' completed its three-year tour to China with success at the World Expo," he said.

Up to 45 universities in Germany held "China Week" simultaneously last year, as part of the China-Germany Year of Science and Education program, while 200 German middle school students were invited by the Chinese government to attend a summer camp in China, staying with Chinese families and becoming good friends with them, Wu said.

"As world politics and economics undergo profound changes, China and Germany face challenges as well as opportunities to further their cooperation," the ambassador said.

"We've found that the global financial crisis and the eurozone debt problems had not weakened, but strengthened our economic ties," Wu said, "Our economies can complement each other and that means great potential in trade and investment."

He also said China this year would launch its 12th "Five-Year Plan," which would be the country's first national plan on developing a green economy. "Germany has a technological advantage in renewable energy, and the two sides can work for more tangible results in this field," Wu said.

"On major international issues, the two countries share common interests and have had extensive cooperation, both in scope and style," he said. "As two major economies, China and Germany should and can develop a closer strategic partnership."

Chinese Vice Premier Li, who is due to arrive in Germany on Thursday for a four-day visit, will meet German President Christian Wulff, Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Westerwelle.

"Such high-level political contacts between top leaders clearly indicate that China-Germany relations are highly valued on both sides," the ambassador said.

"I believe Li's visit to Germany will lay solid ground for developing the two countries' relations for the whole year, pointing out directions for and pumping fresh energy into an enhanced bilateral relationship," he said.


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