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China, Germany agree to tighten ties
( 2003-09-12 07:13) (China Daily)

Witnessing substantial achievements in bilateral economic and trade relations, China and Germany vow to further ties between their small and medium enterprises.

President Hu Jintao (left) and German President Johannes Rau review a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing ,September 11, 2003. Witnessing substantial achievements in bilateral economic and trade relations, China and Germany vow to further ties between their small and medium enterprises.  [Reuters]

During Thursday's meeting with visiting German President Johannes Rau, President Hu Jintao called for a deepening of economic and technical co-operation between the two countries' small and medium-sized enterprises, and Rau expressed his agreement.

Rau said such enterprises in Germany which are full of vital force are very much interested in co-operation with Chinese partners, noting that he believed they would contribute to bilateral ties.

Rau also encouraged the two governments to help establish contacts between small and medium-sized enterprises of the two countries.

The trade volume between the two countries last year reached US$27.8 billion, almost 100 times as much as the US$273 million in 1972 when the two countries established diplomatic ties. For a long period, Germany has remained China's most important trading and technological co-operation partner in Europe. Germany has become China's largest trade partner in Europe since 1975, according to Chinese Customs statistics.

Besides the co-operation of enterprises, Hu also put forward another three suggestions on promoting Sino-German relations:

- Maintaining frequent high-level visits and exchanges and strengthening bilateral political co-ordination and co-operation;

- Expanding exchanges and co-operation in various fields and enhancing people-to-people communication;

- Seeking common ground while reserving differences and insisting on a general direction for the development of friendly bilateral relations, and properly handling issues of common concern so as to maintain the healthy development of bilateral relations.

Commenting on the international situation, Hu stressed that China stands for equality in international relations and the establishment of a fair and just international political order.

Expressing China's positive attitude on the process of integration of Europe, Hu said that China is willing to deepen relations with Europe and expects a more important and constructive role for European Union (EU) in the international community.

Today, Rau is scheduled to meet top legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao.

Rau arrived in Beijing yesterday morning, continuing his first state visit to China since taking office.

Rau arrived in Xi'an Wednesday morning, the first leg of his eight-day visit to China.

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