Beijing, Berlin pledge to boost cooperation
Li calls on China, Germany to enhance trust, focus on long-term growth of ties
China and Germany reached consensus on Wednesday on the importance of solidarity and cooperation in jointly fighting COVID-19 and promoting the global economic recovery, as leaders from the two sides held talks in the sixth round of intergovernmental consultation.
The consultation, co-chaired via video link by Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also brought together 25 ministerial officials from both sides.
In his opening remarks, Li called upon the international community to send a strong message of cooperation and show the strength of unity in the face of the pandemic, saying that only with unity and cooperation can countries defeat the virus confronting humanity.
And only with unity and cooperation can the international community boost the recovery and growth of the world economy, he said.
Li called upon the two nations to enhance mutual trust, dispel misgivings, narrow differences and focus on cooperation to ensure the long-term healthy and steady growth of bilateral relations.
Merkel hailed the expansion of bilateral cooperation in diplomacy, trade and economics, agriculture, sustainable development and the response to climate change.
Germany and China both have important roles to play in the global response to COVID-19, and Berlin is willing to work with Beijing in cooperation on vaccine and mutual recognition of vaccinations, she said.
The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment is transparent and reciprocal, and it will provide more guarantees for bilateral trade and economic cooperation, she said.
Germany hopes to maintain dialogue and exchanges with China and further enhance mutual understanding, she said.
China was the largest trading partner of Germany for the fifth consecutive year in 2020, and became its second-largest export market last year. Bilateral trade grew by 3 percent, according to German statistics authorities, despite the huge impact of the pandemic on global trade.
Li said that the robust bilateral trade was a strong indicator of the high level and immense potential of bilateral cooperation.
The direct beneficiaries of bilateral cooperation are the people of both countries, and the stability of international industry and supply chains can also be protected during the process, he said, adding that China has been widening its opening-up with a range of new measures, and German companies, as well as other foreign enterprises, have benefited.
With the pandemic continuing unabated and protectionism persisting globally, Li highlighted the need for China and Germany to take the lead in conducting open, mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation.
Despite the fact that the two countries have different views on some issues, he said both sides need to respect each other's core interests and major concerns, engage in communication and exchanges on the basis of equality and noninterference in each other's internal affairs.