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China ready to advance ties with Germany

By CAO DESHENG | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-06-19 23:40

Chinese Premier Li Qiang is welcomed by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday before a meeting at Bellevue Palace in Berlin. Markus Schreiber / AP

Premier Li Qiang underlined the importance of China's relations with Germany, saying Beijing stands ready to work with Berlin to uphold peace, development and cooperation in order to promote global stability, prosperity and growth.

Li, who arrived in Berlin on Sunday on a four-day official visit, made the remark during his meeting on Monday with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

On Tuesday, the premier will chair the seventh China-Germany intergovernmental consultation together with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the German capital.

During his meeting with Steinmeier, Li conveyed President Xi Jinping's sincere greetings to the German president, and emphasized that China attaches great importance to its ties with Germany.

Li said he will use the visit — his first overseas trip since becoming the premier in March — to explore new opportunities for bilateral cooperation to make the China-Germany comprehensive strategic partnership more meaningful.

There is no fundamental conflict of interest between China and Germany, and the foundation of bilateral relations is solid with strong development momentum, Li said, adding that he is fully confident about the prospects of Sino-German cooperation.

China has always supported openness and cooperation. It believes the biggest risk is noncooperation and the greatest security risk is lack of development, the premier said.

Steinmeier said that Germany wants to be a cooperative partner that China can trust to jointly uphold trade liberalization and cope with the challenges of climate change.

Germany opposes decoupling and bloc confrontation, Steinmeier said. It is willing to strengthen communication with China and make concerted efforts to promote world peace and development, he added.

Both sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern, including the Ukraine crisis.

During his stay, Li will attend the China-Germany Economic and Technical Cooperation Forum and a roundtable discussion with Chinese and German entrepreneurs. He will meet with representatives from German industrial and business communities and visit German companies in Bavaria.

In a written speech upon his arrival in Berlin, Li said his visit will carry forward the two countries' traditional friendship and deepen their cooperation.

In recent years, Sino-German ties have seen steady progress, Li said, adding that bilateral cooperation has continuously deepened and expanded, with new achievements being made in areas such as economy and trade, technology, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and green development.

The premier pointed out that the seventh China-Germany intergovernmental consultation will be the first time the newly formed governments of the two countries will interact in an all-around manner.

China is ready to engage in frank and in-depth exchanges with Germany, based on the principles of respecting each other and seeking common ground, while reserving differences for mutual benefit and win-win results, Li said.

The primary objective is to properly handle all differences, so that the two countries send a positive and strong signal for upholding stable global supply chains and promoting world peace and prosperity, he said.

Noting that the times are uncertain and turbulent, the premier said that the more chaos the world witnesses, the stronger the need for the two countries and their peoples to carry forward their traditional friendship, enhance exchanges and cooperation, pool their wisdom, overcome challenges and seize opportunities.

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