Chinese President Xi Jinping met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with both sides calling for upholding multilateralism.
During a meeting on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in the Japanese city of Osaka, the two leaders also agreed to discuss cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and strive for conclusion of the negotiations on the China-European Union (EU) investment agreement next year.
President Xi pointed out that it is the basic consensus of the two governments and all sectors of society to maintain the overall direction of China-Germany cooperation. Given the increasingly complex and volatile international situation, it is indeed necessary for China and Germany, as all-round strategic partners, to maintain communication and coordination, he said.
China and Germany can continue to be partners of equal dialogue and mutual trust, Xi said, noting that China welcomes German businesses to regard it as a reliable trading partner and increase investment in the country.
He stressed that China’s commitment to further opening-up is by no means an empty promise, and expressed hope that German companies can continue to explore the potential of the Chinese market.
President Xi proposed that China and Germany work together to carry forward and foster a spirit of innovation and turn competition into a driving force of cooperation to achieve common development and progress.
He said that China has noticed that it is widely believed in Germany that China’s development and innovation vitality will bring more opportunities to Germany, and China welcomes innovation cooperation between the two countries’ businesses and research institutions in such fields as autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and 5G communication technology.
China and Germany need to work together to promote connectivity between Asia and Europe and build a new high ground for free trade, Xi said, noting that China is ready to work with Germany to jointly undertake the Belt and Road Initiative and strive to conclude negotiations on the China-EU investment treaty next year so as to start the China-EU free trade cooperation process at an early date.
China and Germany should also strengthen cooperation and make efforts to uphold multilateralism, promote international economic cooperation and improve global economic governance, he added.
For her part, Merkel said Germany hopes to enhance communication, coordination and cooperation with China under the current circumstances.
She said she looks forward to paying another visit to China in the near future.
Germany is willing to explore cooperation with China within the framework of the BRI, actively promote the development of EU relations with China, and strive to sign the EU-China investment agreement at an early date, she said.
Both Germany and China are committed to safeguarding multilateralism and hope to strengthen cooperation in areas such as tackling climate change and the World Trade Organisation reform, she said.
In addition, Merkel said that Germany is deeply concerned with the negative impact exerted on the EU by unilateralism and wilful use of coercive measures in trade relations.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the Iran nuclear issue. They agreed that relevant parties should abide by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, resolve the issue peacefully through dialogue and avoid further escalation of tensions.