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Sino-German ties prevail over radicalism

(Global Times)    11:29, June 13, 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in China from Sunday to Tuesday to attend the fourth Chinese-German Government Consultations. Established in 2010, the mechanism for intergovernmental consultation between China and Germany is the only one between China and a Western power. In her ninth trip to China, Merkel brought many cabinet members and a high-level economic delegation, which obviously shows the close ties between China and Germany.

With its trade with China set at $156.8 billion in 2015, Germany is China's largest EU trading partner, about 30 percent of China's trade with the entire EU. Last year, China again had the biggest number of greenfield investment programs in Germany. German products are well-renowned in China. However, German newspapers often carry negative reports about China-related issues such as human rights, the South China Sea and China's market economy status.

As the two largest economies in Asia and Europe, China and Germany have great room for more cooperation since they have no major disputes and are economically complementary. If they open up more to each other, the two can create more cooperative miracles. Germany still has mental shackles in dealing with China. Yet it has built a decent image among Chinese given its sophisticated products and German people's qualities. Chinese people understand that the problems facing Germany should be addressed by the country itself. In contrast, some German elites are always passionate about stepping into China's problems. They bash China over human rights, but overlook China's achievements in this regard.

Some Germans are influenced by bias in Western countries like the US. Before visiting China, Merkel was reportedly warned by German security authorities to not use her cellphone in China to prevent espionage. This is hilarious since Merkel should have been given the warning before her US tour as she was actually wiretapped by the US. We are not upset by the inclination shared by German public opinion with their other Western fellows. But we hope German public intellectuals can use more vision and insight to boost China-Germany cooperation, not the other way around.

Germany is renowned for its many philosophers, craftsmen and thinkers. Meanwhile, given its weak foundation and sizable population, China has a complicated reality, and its rapid development deserves serious-minded and in-depth analysis and thought.

China and Germany have generally respected each other and made dynamic progress in their relations, but they can do better. The future development of Western civilization depends on how much it can integrate and collaborate with other civilizations to achieve breakthroughs. In this Germany should be a leader of other Western countries.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Huang Jin,Bianji)

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