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Chinese, German leaders hail 50 years of relations

By Zhang Yunbi | China Daily | Updated: 2022-10-12 06:42
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Leaders of China and Germany have expressed their shared commitment to advancing bilateral relations and pragmatic cooperation as the two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1972.

A spirit of teamwork and resisting calls for "decoupling" between them are key to helping the two major countries jointly introduce more benefits for both nations and beyond, observers said.

President Xi Jinping exchanged congratulatory messages on Tuesday with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the anniversary.

Xi said that over the past 50 years, the two countries adhered to mutual respect and a win-win spirit, constantly advanced bilateral ties and made great contribution to global peace and development.

Xi said he attaches great importance to the development of China-Germany ties, and he is willing to work with the German president to take the 50th anniversary as an opportunity to bring the China-Germany comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level, further benefiting the two countries and their peoples.

The German president said that over the past 50 years, Germany-China relations have developed at a deep level in many fields, enhancing exchanges between the two countries and the well-being of the two peoples.

China is Germany's largest trade partner and Germany-China economic and trade cooperation serves the interests of both sides, Steinmeier said when voicing his wish that cooperation between the two countries could further prosper and develop.

As part of the fruitful outcomes of economic and trade cooperation, annual bilateral trade has increased from less than $300 million in 1972 to $235.1 billion last year, according to Chinese ambassador to Germany Wu Ken.

As leading economies on both ends of the Eurasian continent, the two countries "share a promising future in areas such as advanced manufacturing, environmental conservation, service trade, artificial intelligence, the digital economy and new energy vehicles", Wu wrote in an article published in People's Daily on Tuesday.

Currently, over 5,000 German enterprises operate in China and there are more than 2,000 Chinese businesses in Germany.

As Germany's exports to China are declining while China's exports to Germany are rising, it is highly necessary and feasible for the two countries to strive for new successes in bilateral economic cooperation, said Tian Dewen, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies.

"China's further deepening reform and opening-up could create a greater and better environment to reduce the trade imbalance, and Berlin should boost its political self-reliance and reduce the pressure exerted by its Western allies," Tian added.

Mei Zhaorong, former Chinese ambassador to Germany, said the growth of the ties over the past 50 years could be attributed to the two countries' proper treatment of the differences between their political systems, the great complementarity between their economic structures and the leading roles played by the two countries' leaders.

Beijing and Berlin should further boost their political mutual trust, respect each other's core interests, advance win-win cooperation and boost friendship between the two nations, Mei told Chinese media recently.

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