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Germany has been urged to become "even more open and flexible" on joint high-tech and scientific research with China, which is expected to result in tremendous new economic and trade opportunities and boost the two countries' economic relations.
Chen Lesheng, executive director of the Beijing-based Sino-German Center for Research Promotion, made the proposal as Premier Li Keqiang visits Germany on the last leg of his four-country visit.
"If Germany decides to take a more open attitude during the premier's visit and further relaxes its control over high-tech cooperation, it will gain even more opportunities in China," said Chen.
He asked Germany not to follow the actions of the United States and the EU, which have imposed restrictions on China for a number of reasons including security concerns.
Chen urged German leaders' "strategic thinking" in this endeavor and recommended that the two countries beef up future economic and trade cooperation.
He said China and Germany will sign a series of joint projects in science and technology during Li's visit that will also involve "international mega projects".
Chen's center, jointly set up by the German and Chinese governments 13 years ago, has already offered research grants to 17,000 scientists from both sides, launched 19 joint research labs and sponsored more than 300 seminars.
In contrast with other Western powers such as the US, Germany has been one of the leading major high-tech exporters to China since its "opening-up and reform", Chen said. The German government has also intensively cooperated with China in education and scientific research.
"I think German businesses have already benefited from such strategic thinking and you can hardly see German businesses in China losing money," he said.
"But I think the trade scale between the two countries can reach an even higher level, along with high-tech research."
Chen has noticed that Germany has been affected by the US and the EU's conservative practices of limiting high-tech exports.
"Because of this, Germany has given up many good businesses and excellent research projects in China," said Chen. "It is a pity, especially when the economy is not doing well."
He urged more German cooperation with Chinese high-tech enterprises and research institutes.
"If they relax control of high-tech exports, they can earn more money and solve their thorny unemployment problem," Chen said, adding that Germany has already lost its advantage in some light and heavy industries.
"Germans should be more flexible in deepening joint research on food safety, material research and precision mechanics with China," Chen added.
(China Daily 05/27/2013 page3)