China's growth an opportunity for EU, Xi says
Germany's Merkel: Enhancing dialogue in interests of both nations and world
China's development is an opportunity for the European Union, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday, urging the EU to make correct judgments independently and truly achieve strategic autonomy.
Speaking in a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Xi said China hopes that Germany and the EU will make joint efforts with China to protect and promote the healthy and stable development of their cooperation so as to bring more certainty and stability to a volatile world.
It was the first time this year that Xi had a phone conversation with Merkel. Last year, the two leaders had four phone conversations to exchange views on bilateral ties and China-EU cooperation.
Noting that their communication last year played an important role for the development of China-Germany and China-EU relations, Xi said that enhancing China-Germany and China-EU cooperation would achieve major results.
With the China-EU relationship facing new opportunities as well as challenges, Xi said the key is to keep to the general direction of China-EU relations from a strategic perspective, respect each other and remove distractions.
Xi said that China stands ready to work with the EU to ensure the success of a series of significant political agendas for the next stage through consultation, deepen and expand practical cooperation across the board and strengthen communication on climate change and other global governance issues to jointly practice multilateralism.
He said practical cooperation between China and Germany has achieved progress despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, and China has been Germany's largest trading partner for five consecutive years. This reflected the resilience and potential of China-Germany cooperation, he added.
Xi called on the two countries to promote bilateral cooperation under the principle of mutual respect and win-win results to inject confidence and impetus for China-EU cooperation and world economic recovery.
As China is actively fostering the dual-circulation development paradigm, Xi said that while the country seeks development depending on its own strength, it also adheres to opening to the outside world and actively participates in international division of labor and cooperation.
China is willing to share opportunities created by the new round of opening-up with companies from Germany and elsewhere, Xi said, adding that China hopes Germany will stay open and offer more convenience for expanding mutually beneficial cooperation between their companies.
He also called on the two nations to promote exchanges in such areas as science and technology, education, culture and sports by using opportunities presented by the 50th anniversary of China-Germany diplomatic ties and the Beijing Winter Olympics next year.
Xi expressed China's opposition to efforts to politicize vaccines and so-called vaccine nationalism. He said China stands ready to work with Germany and the whole international community to facilitate fair and reasonable vaccine distribution and help a majority of developing countries obtain access to vaccines.
Merkel said the EU has adhered to an autonomous foreign policy. She said Germany-China and EU-China cooperation are increasingly necessary today to deal with challenges faced by the world.
Enhancing dialogue and cooperation between the EU and China not only conforms to the interests of both nations, but will also benefit the world, she said, adding that Germany is willing to play an active role.
She also said Germany will work with China to prepare for the new round of China-Germany inter-government consultations and resume personnel exchanges as soon as possible.