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Xi: Strengthen Sino-German relationship

By MO JINGXI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-22 06:45
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German and Chinese national flags fly in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, in May 23, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of bilateral ties between China and Germany, saying on Tuesday that a good relationship between the two countries serves not only the fundamental interests of their peoples, but also benefits the European Union and the world.

Xi made the remark in a phone conversation with Olaf Scholz, who was sworn in as Germany's new chancellor on Dec 8, replacing Angela Merkel.

Xi once again congratulated Scholz on his new role, after sending him a congratulatory message earlier this month.

China-Germany ties have shown plenty of vitality, endurance, tenacity and potential since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972, Xi said, hailing cooperation between China and Germany as the "bellwether" of China-EU cooperation.

He called on the two countries to maintain the right approach to bilateral ties by considering one side's development as the other's opportunity and maintaining the good tradition of high-level guidance in terms of the China-Germany relations.

Xi called for the two countries to jointly plan for celebratory activities next year to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Noting that both countries have greatly benefited in economic terms from each other's development, Xi said that China and Germany should actively promote mutually beneficial cooperation in a pragmatic manner and explore cooperation in new fields such as the digital economy and new energy.

China has been Germany's biggest trade partner for five consecutive years, with goods worth 212.1 billion euros ($256.7 billion) traded between them in 2020, according to official German data.

China welcomes German companies giving play to their advantages and seizing the opportunities brought by China's opening-up, Xi said, adding that Beijing also hopes Berlin will create a fair business environment for Chinese companies to invest and prosper.

Xi said he believed that by strengthening cooperation under the framework of the joint building of the Belt and Road, the two countries will bring benefits to countries involved and facilitate the interconnectivity of the Eurasian continent.

He also urged the two countries, which are both defenders of multilateralism and contributors to global development, to jointly promote the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, find feasible solutions to problems concerning the common destiny of mankind and resolutely oppose all kinds of bullying and a Cold War mentality.

The president stressed that China and the EU are two major independent forces in the world and share a wide range of strategic consensuses and common interests. He said he hopes that Germany will continue to play a positive role in stabilizing China-EU relations and will constantly add stability to this relationship.

Scholz said that his memory of past interaction with Xi remains fresh and he is willing to inherit and carry forward Germany-China friendship and cooperation.

In 2017, Xi met with Scholz in Hamburg when the German chancellor was mayor of the city.

Germany and China now enjoy a good trade and investment relationship, work closely on dealing with global challenges and closely communicate on regional issues such as the Afghan issue and the Iran nuclear issue, he said.

Germany stands ready to boost bilateral pragmatic cooperation in areas such as clean energy and the digital economy and promoting EU-China relations in a constructive way, Scholz said, adding that Germany expects the early entry into force of the investment agreement between the EU and China.

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