|Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Angela Merkel, Announcing the Establishment of China-Germany All-Round Strategic Partnership
On March 28 local time, President Xi Jinping held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Both sides had in-depth exchanges of views on China-Germany relations and major international and regional topics of common interest. They reached important consensus to upgrade the bilateral relations to an all-round strategic partnership, charting the course for the further development of China-Germany relations.
Xi Jinping pointed out, the coming years will be a crucial period for reform and development in both China and Germany, as well as for the common growth and progress of the two countries. China and Germany are not only economic partners but also political partners and strategic cooperation partners. It is a step of great significance that the two sides have decided to establish an all-round strategic partnership and to start mapping out China-Germany medium- to long-term action plans. China is willing to work with Germany, following the spirits of being intensive, pioneering and innovative, to blueprint and design for the bilateral cooperation in various fields, so as to create a bright future for China-Germany relations.
Xi Jinping raised proposals for the two sides. First, to be trustworthy friends politically. To maintain regular high-level exchanges, to strengthen communication on major issues and to enhance strategic mutual trust. Both sides should make full use of the strategic dialogue and other 60 plus cooperation mechanisms to enhance contacts between governments, political parties, parliaments and think tanks of the two countries. To deepen the cooperation in the fields of diplomacy, security, law enforcement and counter-terrorism. Dialogue on human rights and other issues should be conducted on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Second, the economic cooperation should achieve a qualitative leap. As the timing and condition for deepening strategic cooperation have been ripe, the two sides should expand two-way investment and trade, carry out more strategic projects of large scale, undertake joint research, development and production, promote the dialogues in manufacturing industry, strengthen cooperation in fields including smart manufacturing, networking, and the new generation of information technology, as well as collaboration on aeronautics and astronautics, maritime and polar matters. China supports the establishment of a China-Germany agricultural center. The two sides can hold regular high-level economic and financial dialogues. China welcomes the establishment of an RMB clearing and settlement mechanism in Frankfurt, as well as Germany's active participation in the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt, which will promote the infrastructure connectivity between China and Europe and the integration of various factors of production.
Third, to enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The two sides will go on with large-scale cultural activities in each other's country and establish a high-level mechanism for China-Germany people-to-people and cultural exchanges. To strengthen cooperation in education, tourism and at local level. To enhance people-to-people exchanges, particularly youth exchanges. To provide more facilitation and convenience for personnel exchanges between both countries.
Fourth, to maintain effective communication in international affairs and jointly promote diplomatic solutions to regional hotspot issues. To strengthen coordination and cooperation within multilateral mechanisms of the UN, G20 and others, jointly coping with global challenges, pushing forward international system reform and improve global governance.
Fifth, to join the efforts to deepen China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. To safeguard and promote a free trade system. To push for an early harvest of the China-EU Investment Agreement negotiation. To start the joint feasibility study for the building of the China-EU free trade area at an early date. To solve China-EU trade and investment disputes through dialogues and consultation.
Merkel said that Germany-China relations maintain the development at a high level, with active communication and dialogue in all fields and at various levels, and with a strong economic cooperation. The German side pays attention to China's comprehensive deepening reforms and wishes China to score greater achievements. Germany is willing to actively participate in China's modernization construction and to be the comprehensive and strategic partner of China.
Merkel said that Germany understands the many challenges that China is facing as a country with such a large population and supports China to maintain stability and development. It is not the way that trying to understand China with the German standard. The German side is willing to strengthen political dialogues and people-to-people and cultural exchanges with China and to deepen mutual understanding and trust. Germany boasts a strong will to enhance bilateral cooperation, completely agrees with China's relevant proposals, and hopes to expand cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, investment, finance, energy and environmental protection and to hold together the event of "Year of Innovation and Cooperation" coming next year. Germany is grateful to China for its support to the Euro, and is willing to actively promote the negotiations on the EU-China Investment Agreement and the EU-China free trade area and to properly solve EU-China trade disputes. The German side wishes to enhance communication and coordination with China on major international and regional hotspot issues.
Following the talks, both sides issued the Joint Statement on the Establishment of China-Germany All-round Strategic Partnership.
The state leaders of both countries jointly witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents, covering various fields of automobiles, transportation, informatization, taxation, finance, science and technology, energy conservation and environmental protection, medicine, education and agriculture.
The state leaders also met the press together. Xi Jinping pointed out, as China-Germany relationship goes all the way until now, the effect of bilateral practical cooperation is no longer simply like one plus one equals two, but is far beyond two. Deepening China-Germany cooperation is not only conducive to both countries, but also beneficial to the Europe as well as the world at large. During my visit this time, both sides have decided to uplift the bilateral relations to an all-round strategic partnership, and signed a number of cooperation agreements. Standing at a new starting point, China-Germany relations are embracing new opportunities for development. It is believed that by 2020, Germany in Europe and China in Asia will enjoy more powerful economic strength, closer mutually beneficial cooperation, and greater influence in international affairs.
Xi Jinping said, developing China-Germany relations is like driving a car. Only if the driver boasts a long-term perspective will the journey be safe and smooth. As long as we fill in the fuel and well control the steering wheel, the car of China-Germany cooperation will surely be fast and steady, heading into the bright future.
Merkel said that the relations between Germany and China are all-dimensional. She and President Xi Jinping has reached multiple consensuses on strengthening political dialogues, economic cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. She believed that President Xi Jinping's visit will further consolidate and expand Germany-China cooperation. Germany is willing to serve as the engine for developing Europe-China relations.
Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others were present.