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China, Germany pledge to improve political dialogue
Latest Updated by 2006-05-23 09:37:03
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Chinese and German leaders agreed Monday in Beijing to start their first round of strategic dialogue this year, as a way to improve political consultations.

"The enhancement of China-Germany ties is an established policy of the Chinese government and serves the common interests of the two countries," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

During their talks, the two leaders agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation in international affairs. "China supports a bigger role for Germany in multi-lateral organizations, including the United Nations," Wen said.

"To develop China-Germany strategic partnership has become the common goal of the two countries, " Wen said.

Citing China-Germany consultative mechanisms in politics and defense as well as dialogues in law and human rights, Wen said China-German ties have entered "a mature stage".

China-German relations are enjoying sound development at the present time, and cooperation in various fields have been constantly expanded, the premier said, noting that both countries attach great importance to their bilateral relations.

China always gives priority to relations with Germany in China's foreign works, and the Germany government also views relations with China from a strategic standpoint, he noted.

Wen said China and Germany have solid political foundations and the two countries have no conflicts in basic interests nor unsolved historical issues.

"China firmly supported Germany's efforts in national reunification and the German government, throughout the years, has abided by the one-China policy and has refused to sell weapons to Taiwan," Wen said.

Merkel said Germany hopes to maintain high-level contact with China and have bilateral strategic talks to coordinate their stand on key international and regional issues.

Merkel said Germany and China have already become close partners and Germany, with earnest interest, is closely watching China's development and China's important role in the international arena.

She said the German government highly values its ties with China and is devoted to maintaining and developing the previous government's policies towards China.

She also reiterated that her government will continue to abide by the one-China policy.

Both the leaders highlighted the economic cooperation between the two countries. The trade volume between China and Germany reached 63.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2005.

Wen said the two countries should make full use of established business channels, including the China-Germany high-tech dialogue forum, economic cooperation joint commission and the environment forum, to push for further cooperation between the two sides in energy, infrastructure construction and service trade.

Germany is the largest European investor in China, and more Chinese companies have invested in Germany than in any other EU country. "China and Germany share great potential in economic and trade cooperation," said Wen.

Merkel said Germany is ready to further increase cooperation with China in such fields as economy, trade, transport, aerospace, technology transfer and protection of intellectual property.

Germany will push for further cooperation in magnetic levitation rail transport, she said.

The now fully-operational maglev train in Shanghai is an example of technological cooperation between the two countries.

During her stay in Shanghai, the last leg of her China tour, Merkel will ride the maglev line to the Pudong International Airport.

Both sides during their talks also agree to enhance cooperation in education and cultural fields.

Wen said China and Germany will hold such cultural exchange activities as a national cultural year, and increase higher education cooperation.

China and Germany will discuss human rights on the basis of equality and respect, in a bid to increase mutual understanding, Wen added.

As for China-EU relations, Wen said to promote the ties accords with the common demands of both sides, hoping that China and EU nations will continue expanding cooperation to push for the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.

Merkel said Germany, when it holds the rotating presidency of the European Union during the first six months next year, will make active efforts to push for the development of the EU-China all-round strategic partnership.

Wen and Merkel also exchanged views during their talks on international and regional issues of common concern.

After their talks, the two leaders attended the signing ceremony of 19 documents of bilateral cooperation, mainly covering such fields as railway technology, financial cooperation, high technology, telecommunications, energy, culture and sports.

The two sides also signed a memorandum of understanding on the protection of intellectual property in the textile industry.

Merkel arrived here on Sunday night, kicking off an official visit to China from May 21 to 23 at the invitation of Premier Wen. This is Merkel's first visit to China since she became Chancellor in November 2005.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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