Commentary: China, Germany should enhance cooperation during times of uncertainty

(Xinhua) 09:58, May 12, 2022

BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping had a virtual meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday. Facing complex changes in the international landscape and various challenges to world peace and development, the leaders of the two countries have been guiding bilateral relations from a high level, providing valuable momentum for greater China-Germany and China-EU cooperation.

Today, peace and development are under threat due to rampant hegemonism and exacerbated global divisions. The onset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict has reignited the flames of war in Europe.

Such an alarming increase in threats to global security and development has led to an urgent call for more stability and certainty in navigating these turbulent times.

In his meeting with Scholz, Xi said that under the current circumstances, it is particularly important for the two countries to maintain sound and steady growth of bilateral ties and better harness the stabilizing, constructive and steering role of this relationship.

This not only serves the interests of the Chinese and German peoples but will also contribute significantly to world peace and tranquility, he said.

There is no change in China's commitment to developing ties with Germany; there is no change in China's sincere wish for closer cooperation with Germany; and there is no change in China's conviction that China and Germany can make greater differences together, Xi emphasized.

These remarks shed light on the value and significance of China-Germany relations, pointing the way to future cooperation and dialogue between the two countries.

Meanwhile, past achievements have laid a solid foundation for the steady development of China-Germany relations. In the past five decades since the two countries established diplomatic ties, the bilateral relationship has shown great vitality, endurance, resilience and potential.

While Germany is China's most important trading partner in Europe, China has been Germany's top trade partner for six consecutive years. The trade volume between them has mushroomed to more than 250 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 from less than 300 million dollars at the very beginning of diplomatic relations.

Nearly 60 percent of German companies in China reported improved business operations last year, and 71 percent plan further investment in the country, according to a report released by the German Chamber of Commerce in China and KPMG.

As for the question of how China and Germany manage to develop together and contribute to each other's success, Xi offered an appropriate answer: It is essentially attributable to a commitment to mutual respect and win-win cooperation, a valuable piece of experience and important principle that should be upheld all along.

There is immense potential remains for the two countries to enrich their relations and deepen their mutually beneficial cooperation regarding climate change, macroeconomic policy, environmental protection, services trade, AI and digitalization.

In addition, China is speeding up its efforts to foster a new development paradigm, which means broader market opportunities for Germany and all other countries.

Xi called on the two sides to stand for true multilateralism, uphold international fairness and justice, defend the UN's central role in international affairs, safeguard basic norms governing international relations, promote an open world economy, and make global development more balanced, coordinated and inclusive.

He also expressed his hope for Germany's active support for and participation in the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, with a view to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Since Germany is a pivotal country in the EU, the continent's security is closely associated with Germany. Notably, the ongoing Ukraine crisis has pushed European security to a crossroads.

On this issue, China always stands on the side of peace and makes its conclusion independently based on the merits of each matter, working in its own way to promote peace and defuse tensions.

Xi has emphasized during that meeting: "It is important to make every effort to prevent the conflict from intensifying or magnifying to a point of no return."

For that purpose, the European side needs to show historical responsibility and political wisdom, bear in mind the long-term stability of Europe, and promote a solution in a responsible manner, Xi said, stressing that the security of Europe should be kept in the hands of Europeans themselves.

China's appeal for peace and stability has been widely welcomed in Europe and beyond. When reporting on the video meeting, many European media outlets, including Reuters, headlined Xi's call to prevent the Ukraine conflict from intensifying, fully reflecting how the international community supports China's take on this issue.

In an unsettled international situation, sound and steady growth in China-EU relations remains more crucial than ever.

The China-Europe relationship is not targeted at, subjugated to, or controlled by any third party, which is a strategic consensus that both sides must follow in the long run, Xi said.

Therefore, Xi highlighted the importance for China and the EU, with a dialectical and long-term view, with mutual respect and with the right perception, to increase communication and enhance mutual trust.

Deepening China-Germany and China-EU cooperation will serve the interest of both sides and even the whole world. By adhering to mutual respect, openness and inclusiveness; seeking common ground while reserving differences; and cooperating for win-win results, China-Germany and China-EU relations will indeed ride the wave of uncertainty towards a brighter future.

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


Related Stories