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President congratulates Germany's new chancellor

By WANG QINGYUN in Beijing and CHEN WEIHUA in Brussels | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-09 07:01
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attends TV interview in Berlin, Germany, Dec 8, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

President Xi Jinping congratulated Olaf Scholz on being elected as Germany's chancellor on Wednesday, and he expressed his hope to further enhance China-Germany ties.

Being each other's comprehensive strategic partners, China and Germany have been adhering to mutual respect, seeking common ground while accepting existing differences and carrying out win-win cooperation over the years, Xi said in his message to Scholz.

In this way, the two countries have accomplished a lot of great work that benefits themselves, their peoples and the world, Xi said.

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic and profound changes in the world, China and Germany have shown their sense of responsibility as major countries by strengthening communication and cooperation, jointly supporting the global fight against the pandemic and promoting economic recovery, Xi said, adding that he attaches great importance to China-Germany ties.

The two countries will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year. Xi said he hopes to work with Scholz to take that as an opportunity to consolidate and deepen political mutual trust and expand bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields.

Premier Li Keqiang also sent a congratulatory message to Scholz on Wednesday.

Pointing out that China-Germany ties have become one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world, Li said he hopes to maintain good contact with Scholz.

The Bundestag, the German parliament, elected Scholz as chancellor on Wednesday morning, replacing Angela Merkel, who had been in the post for 16 years.

Scholz's Social Democratic Party defeated Merkel's Christian Democratic Union in the September general elections and has since negotiated an agreement to form a coalition government with the Greens and the Free Democratic Party. The three parties signed a formal agreement on Tuesday.

Scholz, 63, had served as vice-chancellor and finance minister in Merkel's coalition government.

Shortly after the result of the vote was announced in the Bundestag on Wednesday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier approved the appointment of Scholz and his Cabinet of 16 ministers, including eight men and eight women. Seven of the ministers are from Social Democratic Party, five from the Greens and four from the Free Democratic Party.

Ding Chun, director of the Center for European Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said he is "cautiously optimistic about the medium- and long-term prospects for China-Germany relations under the leadership of Chancellor Scholz".

Noting that the Social Democratic Party has been participating in the German coalition government for a long time, Ding said that the party has a good understanding of China-Germany relations and China-European Union relations, as well as China's role in the world.

"He is pragmatic, but has to balance the interests of the three coalition parties," said Ding, adding that the changing global geopolitical landscape, anxiety in Europe about its status and US pressure on Europe will also be among the factors the new government has to deal with.

Ding hosted a speech made by Scholz at Fudan University in 2015 when Scholz was the mayor of Hamburg, a sister city of Shanghai.

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