2010 important year for Sino-German relations

08:01, December 22, 2010      

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2010 is an important year for the development of Sino-German relations. That's as the two countries have made big achievements on politics, economy, culture and society, sending their bilateral relations to a "new historical point."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited China in July and met Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao. During her visit, China and Germany issued the second communique in two countries' history, which was considered a historical event by both sides.

The Sino-German relations have entered a new phase, Merkel said. The development of relations between the two countries, she said, are formed on a "completely new basis."

Wen said Merkel's visit and the communique have "historical significance" that will help map out the blueprint of bilateral ties and make it stand on "a new historical starting point."

The communique contains 28 points, in which both sides pledged to maintain regular contact between their leaders and the mechanism of annual meetings of the premier and chancellor.

Both countries stressed to take care of each other's core interests, to enhance their mutual understanding and political trust, and to strengthen dialogues on strategy, law and human rights. They also expressed interest in improving cooperation in the United Nations, international financial institutions and other multilateral organizations.

In addition to Merkel's visit, the two countries' leaders met each other during many world events in 2010 to strengthen their mutual trust. In April, Hu met Merkel at the the nuclear summit in Washington. One month later former German President Horst Koehler paid a state visit to China.

During Wen visit to Europe in October, the premier changed his route and met Merkel in Berlin. Both sides reconfirmed the communique issued in July. Wen also was invited to co-chair the first round of the Sino-German government consultations in 2011, making Germany the first EU country to hold high-level intergovernmental consultations with China.

"China and Germany have maintained a strategic partnership and a close bilateral tie, even at the highest political level," the German foreign ministry said.

Tight political relations are built on strong and complementary economic connections between China and Germany, the largest trading partner for each other in their respective regions.

Sino-German trade has accounted for nearly one third of the trade between China and Europe. According to the latest statistics of China Customs, from January to October, Sino-German bilateral trade reached about 115 billion U.S. dollars, up 35 percent over the same period of last year.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Germany has invested in 319 projects, an actual investment of 830 million dollars in China from January to November, while China invested 160 million dollars in Germany at the same period.

In the last three years, foreign direct investments (FDI) from China to Germany witnessed a fast development, not only in numbers, but also on quality, professionalism and management, Michael Pfeiffer, CEO of Germany Trade and Invest, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"In a long period, there were four to seven FDI projects from China to Germany every year. However, 2008 was a turning point with 21 FDI projects realized," he said. "By 2009, this number has been tripled."

At present, there are 800 Chinese enterprises that have set up companies or offices in Germany.

To counter the toughest economic crisis after World War II, China and Germany have also taken several stimulus plans to stimulate economies and domestic demand.

In 2010, both countries cooperated closely on opposing protectionism, strengthening international financial regulations and preventing global climate change, said Wu Hongbo, the Chinese ambassador to Germany.

On issues such as China's market economy status, technology transfer, intellectual property protection, China and Germany have actively listened to each other's concerns and sought solutions.

In 2010, China and Germany also made big progress on cultural and social exchanges.

The German Pavilion "Harmonious City" received about 4 million visitors at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and won a top prize there.

The activity, "Germany-China Moving Ahead Together," which started in 2006, has greatly enhanced the mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries.

This summer, 45 German universities and colleges held China Week to show the charm of the Chinese language and culture, and to help more young Germans understand contemporary China.

At the same time, 200 German high school students attended summer camps in China and experienced real Chinese life there.

In 2012, China will host "Chinese Culture Year" in Germany.

Source:Xinhua
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