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Spotlight: Xi, Merkel agree to write better story of China-Germany cooperation

(Xinhua)    08:08, July 06, 2017

(photo by Xinhua)

In the eyes of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the development of China-Germany ties over the decades is a "success story" that has delivered real benefits to the two peoples.

As Xi met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday in Berlin, the two leaders agreed to write a better story, setting new targets and mapping out new paths for the future development of their countries' comprehensive strategic partnership.

STRONGER PARTNERSHIP

China and Germany lifted their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership during Xi's first state visit to Germany in 2014.

Xi told Merkel during their talks that China is ready to join Germany in consolidating mutual trust, building up more consensus and promoting bilateral cooperation and connectivity, so as to ensure a constant development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

The Chinese president urged the two sides to intensify high-level exchanges, bring bilateral mechanisms to full play, and enhance political mutual trust.

The two sides should also attend to each other's core interests and major concerns, seek common grounds while reserving differences, and properly handle their disputes on the basis of mutual respect and equality, he said, calling for closer cooperation in such areas as combating terrorism and cross-border crimes and hunting fugitive corrupt officials.

Meanwhile, he suggested that the two countries follow an open, innovative and win-win path, conduct strategic cooperation and jointly promote their common interests.

The two sides, he said, should support their firms in synergizing "Made in China 2025" and Germany's "Industry 4.0," so as to unleash the potential for innovation when the two nations' manufacturing strengths are combined with the Internet.

Xi also urged the two sides to give full play to the newly launched High-Level People-to-People Exchange Dialogue Mechanism so as to deepen their cooperation in such areas as education, science and technology, culture, political parties, think tanks and media.

Merkel agreed that Germany's cooperation with China in politics, economy, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges accords with the interests of both sides, and boasts even greater potential.

She said that the German government is willing to work with China to step up cooperation in economy, trade and connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative.

FORCE FOR WORLD PEACE AND PROSPERITY

"Currently, the world is undergoing profound changes and major adjustments, and has turned increasingly volatile," the Chinese president said while meeting Merkel.

China is the world's second largest economy and Germany is the fourth, and they are also two stabilizing forces with major influence in Asia and Europe, Xi said.

A stronger China-Germany comprehensive strategic partnership serves both sides' fundamental interests, and can help promote the development of China-European Union (EU) relations and add more stability and predictability to the world, he added.

Xi also proposed that Beijing and Berlin step up coordination and cooperation at the China-EU level, as well as within international bodies and multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations (UN) and the Group of 20 (G20).

He urged the two countries to maintain communication over hotspot issues concerning international and regional security so as to preserve world peace and stability, promote healthy world economic development, and contribute to building a community of shared future for mankind.

China appreciates Germany for keeping up with the consensus reached at the G20 summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou last year, and for continuing to prioritize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and cooperation with Africa at this year's summit, he said.

"The G20 mechanism belongs not only to its members but also to the entire world," said the Chinese leader, adding that Beijing supports Berlin in making the upcoming G20 summit a success and will work with the German side to ensure the meeting achieves positive results.

PANDAS & FOOTBALL

Also on Wednesday, Xi and Merkel attended the official opening ceremony of the Panda Garden at Zoo Berlin.

At the zoo, Xi said he was delighted to see Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, two pandas from China, make their debut to the German public and have a new and pretty home here.

"It is of great significance to restart China-Germany giant panda protection and research cooperation upon the 45th anniversary of the two countries' diplomatic ties," he said.

Xi expressed the hope that the two cute animals will serve as new ambassadors promoting friendship between the two peoples.

Merkel said the German people have made great efforts to provide a comfortable home for the long-awaited pandas, adding that Germany will take this opportunity to deepen bilateral cultural and people-to-people exchanges with China.

Meng Meng, which means "sweet dream" in Chinese, is a four-year-old female panda, while Jiao Qing, meaning darling, is a seven-year-old male.

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, sent to Germany on a 15-year conservation and breeding program, are not the first pandas given or loaned to the European country by China. The last panda Berlin had was Bao Bao, which was sent to Berlin in 1980 as a state gift from China. The panda died in 2012.

Starting Thursday, visitors to the zoo will be able to see Meng Meng and Jiao Qing in their new garden, which occupies 5,500 square meters.

Later in the day, also accompanied by Merkel, Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, watched a football match between Chinese and German youth teams.

He encouraged these young players to foster friendship between the two peoples. "You are the future of the Chinese and German football," Xi told the Chinese footballers and their German peers ahead of the match in Olympiastadion Berlin, a world-famous sports stadium.

"I hope you can develop the hardworking spirit, learn from each other, and maintain close friendship," said Xi.

After the match, Xi pointed out that China and Germany are advancing their football cooperation and that it is a systematic project to improve football skills.

China is willing to push for all-round football cooperation with Germany, said Xi, adding that with joint efforts, the two countries will harvest more fruits from the cooperation.

Xi arrived in Berlin Tuesday afternoon for a state visit to the European country, where he will also attend the G20 summit in the German port city of Hamburg.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Du Xiaofei, Bianji)

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