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HANNOVER, Germany - China fully recognizes the status and role of Germany within the European Union (EU) and is willing to work with the country to promote China-EU ties, visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday.
At a meeting with his German counterpart Angela Merkel, Wen said that the expanded Sino-German cooperation over recent years has not only strengthened the two sides' capabilities to address the global financial crisis, but also has contributed to the development of China-EU relations.
While the international community is still confronted with many complicated and difficult challenges, China and Germany need to treat each other as equals and accommodate their respective core interests, Wen said.
China's rapid economic development could provide a huge market for Germany, said Wen, adding that China welcomes German enterprises to boost their investment in China, especially in the central and western regions.
The two sides should enhance their exchanges in such areas as science and technology and education, and also between the youth of the two countries, and promote coordination in international affairs, said Wen.
The two sides should take the opportunity of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties to bring bilateral relations to a higher level, he added.
Merkel said bilateral ties have witnessed rapid development in the past 40 years and the two countries are now strategic partners.
Over the recent years, the two countries have maintained frequent exchange of high level visits and deepened their mutual understanding, Merkel said.
She also introduced the latest developments of the EU debt crisis and appreciated China's strong support on the issue.
Europe will conduct further reforms, push forward the integration process, and focus on the development of the real economy and technological innovation, said Merkel, adding that Germany would like to help the EU and China forge closer cooperation.
In response, Wen said the EU debt crisis has on one hand troubled the European continent, and on the other hand provided an opportunity to promote its integration.
He also said the EU is China's largest trading partner and the improvement in its economy is a piece of good news for China.
"China supports the integration of Europe and has confidence in the continent," added Wen.
Wen started a four-nation Europe tour on Friday. He visited Iceland before arriving in Germany on Sunday. The trip will also take him to Sweden and Poland.