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A special relationship indeed

By Cui Hongjian (China Daily)

08:07, September 04, 2012

China and Germany remain close trade and economic partners to share the benefits of cooperation despite their differences

German officials once described Sino-German relations as a "special partnership", which is evident in the frequent mutual visits of the two heads of government and the high-level, wide-ranging, multi-issue Sino-German consultations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Beijing last week. It was her second visit this year and sixth overall as German chancellor.

Currently, Sino-German consultations are the only inter-government dialogue at the highest level in China's foreign relations. The one-on-one talks between more than 20 ministers from the two countries covered all areas of domestic and foreign policies, with all the discussed subjects having the potential of being implemented.

The closeness between China and Germany is rarely seen in other bilateral relations between world powers. What makes the "relationship" of China and Germany special is their interdependence.

The drastic changes in the world situation have redefined the international roles of China and Germany. The United States' economic recovery has been stuttering, Europe is still grappling with its debt crisis and Japan is tied in knots over its internal contradictions. In contrast, China has not only maintained its economic vitality, but also fueled the Asia-Pacific region with its growth momentum. As a result, the Asia-Pacific is the only hope against the global economic downturn.

Besides, China has been shouldering greater international responsibilities and playing an increasingly important and indispensable role in global economic governance and the reform of the international financial system.

But economic interdependence makes it impossible for China to "thrive" by itself. Since the beginning of this year, the global downturn has harmed China's foreign trade and investment. So China needs reliable global partners to reduce external uncertainties and maintain sustainable development.

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