China, Germany should keep to overall direction of bilateral ties from strategic height: Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on his official visit to China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Nov 4, 2022. (Photo by Yao Dawei/Xinhua)

By He Yin

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on his official visit to China on Nov. 4.

Xi called on both sides to keep to the overall direction of bilateral ties from a strategic height, pursue the biggest common ground in a constructive manner, and advance practical cooperation with an open mind to create conditions for long-term and steady growth of bilateral ties.

The more complex and difficult the situation becomes, the more important it is for China and Europe to uphold mutual respect, mutual benefit, dialogue and cooperation, Xi said.

Xi’s words indicated the future direction of China-Germany relations and China-Europe relations.
Scholz is the first European leader to visit China after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The trip also marked his first visit to China as the Federal Chancellor of Germany.

Xi briefed Scholz on the 20th CPC National Congress, with a particular focus on the essence of Chinese modernization.

“China has been upholding and promoting world peace through its own development. In this process, the development of China and that of other countries have become more interconnected and mutually reinforcing. China will stay committed to advancing high-standard opening up, keep to the right direction in economic globalization, promote an open world economy, and expand converging interests with other countries,” said Xi, demonstrating China’s firm determination to advance win-win cooperation with the rest of the world.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of China-Germany diplomatic relations. It is significant because the two countries will build on past successes to further advance their ties.

The five-decade journey shows that as long as the two sides follow the principles of respecting each other, seeking common ground while reserving differences, maintaining exchanges and mutual learning, and pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation, bilateral ties will keep going in the right direction on the whole and making steady progress.

Xi said it is important that China and Germany respect each other, accommodate each other’s core interests, adhere to dialogue and consultation, and jointly resist disturbance from bloc confrontation and attempts to see everything through the prism of ideology.

Noting the high degree of stability and consistency in China’s policy toward Germany, he called on Germany to follow a positive China policy for the mutual benefit of both countries.

Scholz said Germany wants to maintain communication and coordination with China to better safeguard regional and global peace and security, stressing a multi-polar world is needed in which the role and influence of emerging countries can be taken seriously.

He noted Germany opposes bloc confrontation for which politicians should be held responsible, adding that Germany will play its role in furthering Europe-China relations.

Over the past five decades, bilateral practical cooperation has kept deepening, with two-way trade growing by almost 1,000 times, serving economic and social development in both countries. That’s why the German business community was expecting Scholz’s visit to China.

The 20th CPC National Congress drew a bright blueprint for China’s development, and China’s efforts to advance high-quality development will create more opportunities for China-Germany practical cooperation.

Xi said while exploring more cooperation potential in traditional areas, efforts should be made to energize cooperation in emerging fields such as new energy, artificial intelligence and digitalization.

Amid rising unilateralism and protectionism, a few countries are fanning decoupling and building “exclusive yards with high walls,” which creates new risks for the world economy that has already been in trouble.

Scholz reiterated that Germany firmly supports trade liberalization, supports economic globalization, and opposes decoupling. Germany stands ready for closer trade and economic cooperation with China, and supports more mutual investment between Chinese and German businesses.

As two major economies, China and Germany will work together to keep global industrial and supply chains stable and create momentum for global recovery by jointly resisting protectionism.
A well-developed China-Germany relation not only benefits the two countries, but also is significant for the stable development of China-Europe relations.

Changes of the world, of our times and of history are unfolding today in ways like never before. Xi stressed China-Europe relations bear on global stability and prosperity in Eurasia and should be maintained and developed with efforts from both sides.

Xi said China always regards Europe as a comprehensive strategic partner, supports the strategic autonomy of the European Union and wishes Europe stability and prosperity. China maintains that its relations with Europe are not targeted at, dependent on, or subjected to a third party.

China will work with Germany and with Europe to step up coordination and cooperation in international affairs and jointly look for solutions for such global issues as climate change, biodiversity and food security, Xi pointed out.

Xi said under the current circumstances, the international community should support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis. He reaffirmed China’s support for Germany and Europe to play an important role in facilitating peace talks and to build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture in Europe.

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

Working together to further consolidate political mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation and strive for the new development of China-Germany and China-Europe relations, the two countries will make more contributions to world peace and development.

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