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Li's visit to enhance ties: German ambassador

Updated: 2013-05-25 11:12

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visit to Germany will enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries, German Ambassador to China Michael Schaeffer said.

The nature of their strategic partnership extends to all areas, including the economic, political and cultural sectors, Schaeffer said.

Political dialogue has been elevated to an unprecedented level through mechanisms like intergovernmental consultations, he said.

Launched in June 2011, bilateral intergovernmental consultations cover a wide range of issues, including China's urbanization, regional conflicts and international cooperation.

Economically, the two countries are each other's important trade partners, with two-way trade volume in 2012 approaching $161 billion dollars.

The development of trade relations has been "extremely positive," said the ambassador.

He said China will remain a key trade partner for Germany outside the EU in the coming decade.

As large exporters, both sides have an interest in securing free trade in the global market, fighting trade protectionism and developing fair trade rules, Schaeffer said.

He said both China and Germany face challenges in balancing economic growth and ecological protection.

Energy is the key element in addressing this problem, Schaeffer said, adding that only more clean and regenerative energy can help their economies grow without severely impacting the environment.

China has been working with Germany to build a green economy by cooperating in the use of regenerative energy and raising energy efficiency, Schaeffer said.

In addition to political and economic ties, cultural relations and youth exchanges have also reached a high level in the past few years, he said.

Exchanges between scientists, students, artists and musicians are the most important in terms of building trust between the two sides, Schaeffer said.

"Trust is the basis of our strategic partnership," he said, adding that the two sides should continue exchanges at all levels in order to enhance mutual understanding.

Schaeffer said Germany appreciates China's support in resolving the European debt crisis and is ready to work with China to boost bilateral EU-China ties.

Germany is the final leg of the premier's four-nation visit following India, Pakistan, and Switzerland.

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