Premier Li sees Sino-German growth in ties
China-Germany cooperation has been affected by COVID-19, but it does not stop and will continue to develop, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during a video meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.
China is willing to deepen mutual trust with Germany on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, maintain dialogue, advance cooperation in various fields, and promote new progress in China-Germany relations, Premier Li said.
He introduced China’s epidemic prevention and control work and expressed willingness to deepen exchanges and cooperation in anti-epidemic efforts with Germany.
To seek economic recovery and development in the post-COVID-19 period, the two countries should jointly safeguard multilateralism and promote trade and investment liberalization, Li pointed out.
China is expanding opening-up and is willing to provide a good business environment for foreign companies to invest in China. China and Germany should expand two-way opening and make good use of the “fast track” of personnel exchanges to facilitate business cooperation and resumption of production, and jointly maintain the safety and stability of the supply chain of the industrial chain, he continued.
Li said China always respects Europe’s integration and is glad to see a unified and prosperous European Union.
Germany will assume the rotating presidency of the EU. Li said he expects Germany to play a positive role in promoting the development of China-EU relations.
“We are willing to maintain high-level exchanges with Europe, promote pragmatic cooperation, and strive to complete the negotiation of the China-EU investment agreement at an early date to better achieve common development,” said Li.
Merkel said Germany and China have conducted good cooperation in combating the epidemic. Germany welcomes China’s opening-up and will continue to promote German-Chinese cooperation in various fields, she added.
Merkel appreciated China’s willingness to provide vaccines developed in China as an international public product, and expressed support for strengthening cooperation between the two countries’ vaccine research and development institutions.
Both Germany and China advocate strengthening multilateralism and are willing to closely communicate and coordinate in WTO affairs. The German side is ready to prepare high-level exchanges between China and the EU, accelerate the negotiation of the EU-China investment agreement, and strengthen Germany-China ties, said Merkel.
Negotiations on an investment agreement have been underway for six years and should be concluded in 2020.
German manufacturers depend on both demand and supply chains from China, their country’s biggest trading partner. Before the meeting, the two sides signed deals in the automobile industry and the energy sector, among others.
German had planned to host a summit in September with all EU leaders and China, but that was recently postponed due to the pandemic.