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To expect China to open market overnight not realistic: German FM

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-27 14:27

BERLIN — Germany understands China's efforts to open its markets step by step, and it is "unrealistic" to expect China to fully open its market overnight, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Wednesday.

He made the remarks at a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi after attending the third round of China-Germany Strategic Dialogue on Diplomacy and Security.

Germany is confident that China will not reverse its opening up policy, and the bilateral economic and trade exchanges aim for win-win results, Gabriel said, adding that the open market and equal partnership are the common aspirations for both countries.

He also said China is one of Germany's closest partners in world politics, adding that the rapid development of bilateral ties in all areas is a result of the high mutual trust between the two sides.

Gabriel also said that Germany supports China's Belt and Road Initiative and is ready to increase the pragmatic cooperation with China within this framework.

Many major issues of global concerns can not be solved without China, Gabriel said, noting that Germany attaches great importance to China's international role and is ready to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in global and regional affairs.

Germany is fully confident of the prospect of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, he noted.

For his part, Wang said China expects Germany and members of the European Union (EU) to exert influence so that the bloc could at the earliest date implement its obligations stipulated in Article 15 of the protocol on China's accession to the WTO, a "stumbling block" of China-EU economic cooperation.

In accordance with the article, WTO members should cease the surrogate country approach in anti-dumping investigations on China after Dec 11, 2016, which expires exactly 15 years after China's admission.

China appreciates Germany's positive attitude in solving the aforementioned problem, Wang said, noting that the two countries also have remarkable consensus on reaching the China-EU investment agreement and opening the free trade cooperation as early as possible, he said.

In the dialogue, the two sides agreed to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership, make joint preparations for the upcoming high-level visits, and promote the dialogue mechanisms on people-to-people, financial and security exchanges.

Beijing and Berlin believed their economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial in nature, and the two nations have far more complementarities than competitions in this aspect.

The two countries said they are willing to facilitate the investments of companies, noting that amid the rising economic anti-globalization and protectionism, China and Germany, both major trading nations in the world, shall uphold free trade and investment and deliver their explicit support for openness, inclusiveness, cooperation and win-win results.

Moreover, as the second and fourth economies in the world, China and Germany also shoulder responsibilities to safeguard peace and stability, said Wang, adding that China supports Germany to play a more important role in European affairs and global governance.

China's Europe policy remains consistent and stable, even though the continent has entered a key period, as the peoples of France, Britain and Germany will in the coming months vote on their countries' development directions and the European integration, he said.

Wang added that it is China's hope and belief that Germany, as the core country in Europe, will keep committed to the European stability, and work with China to offset global uncertainties with a stable bilateral relationship, and facilitate regional integration with enhancing the China-Europe cooperation.

China welcomes Germany's increasing emphasis on Asia, and China particularly, on its agenda, said Wang, adding that Beijing warmly welcomes German Minister of Economic Affairs Brigitte Zypries, who will attend the Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation next month as the representative of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In the meeting, the two sides also exchanged opinions on the issues of common concern, such as Korean Peninsula and Syria, and agreed to solve these conflicts by peaceful means.

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