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Li's visit to elevate China's ties with Germany, Europe

Updated: 2013-05-24 14:22

BERLIN - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visit to Germany will further cooperation and strategic partnership between the two nations, according to China's ambassador in Berlin.

The fact that Germany, the last stop of Li's maiden overseas tour as premier, is the only European Union (EU) member included on the itinerary evinces the great importance that China's new leadership accords to its relations with Germany and Europe as a whole, Ambassador Shi Mingde said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Li's visit to elevate China's ties with Germany, Europe

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"The German side has attached great importance to Li's visit, too," said Shi."A series of documents will be signed on economic cooperation."

Li will also address German business leaders on topics including China's development, bilateral ties and the China-EU relations, the ambassador said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will officially launch "the year of languages" between China and Germany, an initiative meant to promote the study of each other's languages among the people of the two countries, Shi added.

"The China-Germany relations, especially their pragmatic cooperation, are at the forefront of China's relations with big Western nations, and play a leading role in the China-EU ties," Shi said.

This has been proven by frequent high-level contacts between the two countries, he said, referring to the fact that leaders of the two countries have been meeting frequently and that Merkel has visited China six times since taking office.

Moreover, the China-Germany intergovernmental consultation mechanism, the highest level of such mechanisms between China and Western nations, is playing an important role in enriching the strategic partnership, promoting cooperation, and charting the future course of the bilateral ties at the top-level, he added.

The remarkable results of the China-Germany economic and trade cooperation also show that the bilateral ties have played a leading role in China's relations with Europe, Shi said, as bilateral trade reached $161.13 billion in 2012, accounting for nearly one third of China-EU trade.

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