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Beijing to safeguard free trade with Berlin

By CAO DESHENG | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-14 07:03
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Beijing on Tuesday. FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY

China and Germany agreed on Tuesday to jointly uphold multilateralism and the global free trade system amid rising unilateralism and trade protectionism.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas held the fourth round of the China-Germany Strategic Dialogue on Diplomatic and Security Affairs in Beijing on Tuesday. They also reached consensus on deepening their bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Maas after the dialogue, Wang said the two countries should maintain the stable development of bilateral ties and work together to promote stability of the international situation, as well as the overall interests of various countries.

In the face of trade protectionism and the backlash against globalization, China and Germany will continue to send out a clear message that they are opposed to protectionism and will stay committed to free trade, Wang said.

The China International Import Expo, which concluded on Saturday, announced China's policy of expanding its opening-up and also demonstrated its firm determination to safeguard global free trade, he added.

"China takes real actions to reject unilateralism and protectionism, providing guidance toward the right direction of building an open world economy," Wang said.

Wang called on the two sides to avail themselves of Belt and Road construction and the fourth industrial revolution, deepen pragmatic cooperation in trade and economics and expand partnership in such fields as artificial intelligence, the internet of things and the digital economy.

China supports Europe's integration process and has been treating the European Union as strategically important, Wang said. He added that China is ready to work with the EU to elevate ties to a new level.

Maas said at the news conference that his country greatly appreciates China's active role in international affairs, attaches great importance to relations with China and views China as a prioritized strategic partner.

Germany remains committed to connectivity between Asia and Europe and holds an open attitude toward the Belt and Road Initiative, he said, adding that his country will work with China to step up China-EU investment agreement negotiations.

The annual strategic dialogue was launched in 2014 as part of an action plan with concrete efforts to forge a closer partnership between the two countries, aiming to enhance their bilateral coordination on foreign policy and security.

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