Xi, Merkel exchange greetings over phone ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year

Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel exchanged greetings via phone on Wednesday ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel exchanged greetings via phone on Wednesday ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Merkel congratulated Xi and the Chinese people on the Lunar New Year, wishing the Chinese people good luck and happiness. Xi also extended New Year greetings to Merkel and the German people.

Noting that this year features multiple important items on the political agenda between China and Germany as well as between China and the European Union, Xi said it is necessary for the two sides to maintain close communication and jointly push for new development of China-Germany and China-EU relations in the new year.

The Chinese president pointed out that as the world is becoming more turbulent, China and Germany shoulder important responsibilities and their cooperation has gone beyond the bilateral scope.

China, Xi said, always attaches great importance to developing relations with Germany, and hopes that the two countries will become cooperation partners that can rely on each other and transcend ideological differences.

China's economic and trade cooperation with relevant countries will not affect the interests of its other trading partners, including Europe and Germany, he said, adding that the Chinese market will continue to grow.

China is willing to make further plans with Germany for bilateral cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, science and technology, and people-to-people exchanges in the spirit of win-win cooperation, and hopes for Germany to continue to create a level playing field for Chinese enterprises investing in Germany, Xi said.

China, he added, is ready to strengthen communication with Germany on the fight against climate change and issues of global economic governance such as the reform of the World Trade Organization.

Xi stressed that 2020 is an important year for China-EU relations, and that China always views and develops its relations with the EU from a strategic and long-term perspective, and supports European integration.

China stands ready to work with EU countries to forge consensus and focus on cooperation, so as to contribute to building an open world economy, upholding multilateralism and free trade, and safeguarding world peace and stability, Xi said, adding that his country is willing to work with Germany to create conditions for and make more achievements in the important series of China-EU exchanges.

For her part, Merkel said Germany attaches great importance to developing a cooperative partnership with China. Noting that Germany and China have much in common, she expressed her hope that the two sides will maintain fruitful dialogue and exchanges at all levels and promote mutually beneficial cooperation.

She said Germany is pleased to see that China and the United States have reached a phase-one economic and trade agreement.

Germany appreciates that the Chinese market stays open to Germany, said the chancellor, adding that the German market will remain open to China as well, and that Germany will treat fairly enterprises from all countries, including China.

As the EU and China have a series of important items on their agenda this year, Germany is willing to communicate and coordinate closely with China to ensure success, especially to make positive progress in such aspects as the EU-China investment agreement, joint efforts against climate change, and cooperation in third-party markets, Merkel said.

She added that cooperation between Central and Eastern European countries and China is an important part of EU-China cooperation.

On the outbreak of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus in China, Merkel said Germany appreciates China's efforts to respond in a timely manner, stay open and transparent, and actively carry out international cooperation, adding that Germany is willing to provide China with support and assistance.

Xi expressed his gratitude to Germany, and stressed that China is willing to strengthen cooperation with the international community, including Germany and the World Health Organization.

Merkel thanked Xi for sending a high-level representative to the Berlin Conference on Libya. The two leaders also exchanged views on current major global and regional issues.

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