President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing August 27, 2007.The Chinese President proposed to broaden concrete cooperation in various fields including trade, clean and renewable energy, and air purification, the Xinhua News Agency reported. [Reuters]
Energy and the environment were among the key issues discussed between China and Germany as the two countries' leaders reaffirmed their commitment to push forward their strategic partnership.
President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao met visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday as she started a three-day visit.
Wen and Merkel signed an agreement on establishing two working groups on environmental technology and energy.
This is Merkel's second visit to the country during her less than two years in office, and the trip comes four months before environment ministers from around the world meet in Indonesia to try and launch talks to extend the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.
"Environment, energy efficiency and green technology are the focus of our cooperation," Wen told reporters at a press briefing.
He said the government is paying close attention to climate change and making efforts to address the issue.
Wen said China will continue to pursue the strategy of sustainable development and take part in global discussions on a climate change accord on the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities".
Wen admitted that it will be difficult to reach environmental targets as China lacks the capabilities of rich nations to reduce emissions.
"We have a much tougher task than Germany does," he said, adding developed countries should continue to take the lead in making emission reduction commitments.
However, he said, China has shown its determination by shutting up hundreds of small-scale mines and power plants.
"We will do our best to tackle global warming and cut pollution," he vowed.
In response to reports that Chinese hackers were responsible for infecting German government computers, Wen said: "We are willing to work with Germany and take firm and effective action to prevent all hacking acts," Wen said.
The two sides also agreed to list the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) as an important topic in the bilateral strategic dialogue.
"IPR protection is not just an issue between nations but also a requirement for China's own development," Wen said, adding that the government will intensify legal enforcement to punish violators.
Merkel said she believes China has set up a sound legal base for IPR protection.
Wen yesterday also emphasized the country's peaceful development, saying China will never be a threat to others.
He also briefed Merkel on policies and measures to enhance products quality and food safety.
"We never shun away from problems and always deal with them in a responsible manner. But we strongly oppose trade protectionism and prejudice against Chinese products," Wen said.
A delegation of 25 German business leaders and industry representatives are traveling with Merkel for a Sino-German industry forum. A commercial deal on an engine components project between ThyssenKrupp Technologies AG and an economic and technology zone in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, was also signed yesterday.
Merkel will address the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences this morning before flying to Nanjing for the opening of a three-year program "Germany and China - Moving Ahead Together".
The program will showcase German artistic and cultural creations in six major provincial hubs including Guangzhou and Chengdu.