|Premier Li Keqiang Met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel via Video Link|
Premier Li Keqiang met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel via video link at the Great Hall of the People on the afternoon of 11 June.
Noting the impact of the onslaught of COVID-19 on China-German exchanges and cooperation, Li stressed that collaboration between the two countries did not and will not stop because of the virus. Rather, it would continue to move forward. Li said that China attaches high importance to its relations with Germany, and noted the recent phone call between President Xi and Chancellor Merkel. He expressed China’s readiness to work with Germany, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, for deeper mutual political and strategic trust, continued dialogue and consultation, and stronger cooperation in economy, trade, investment, science and technology and other fields, in pursuit of new progress in China-Germany relations.
Li gave an update on China’s COVID-19 control and treatment efforts upon request, and commended Germany for its gains in outbreak containment. He said China is ready to work with Germany to intensify experience-sharing on COVID-19 response and cooperation on the research and development of drugs and vaccines to deliver more benefits to the two peoples.
Li pointed out the need for China and Germany to jointly uphold multilateralism and advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation to restore economic growth post COVID-19. As it pursues greater openness, China will provide a sound business environment for companies from Germany and the rest of the world. Li underscored the imperative for China and Germany to pursue wider two-way opening and make the most of the fast-track service for personnel inter-flow to facilitate business cooperation and reopening of economic activity and keep the industrial and supply chains secure and stable.
Li reaffirmed China’s longstanding support for European integration, and a united and prosperous European Union. Enhancing China-Germany and China-Europe mutual openness and cooperation is not for expediency. Rather, it serves the common interests of the two sides and could deliver benefits to both and more parties. With Germany assuming EU presidency in the second half of this year, Li expressed the hope for an active role by Germany in advancing China-EU relations. He called for efforts by China and the EU to maintain high-level exchanges and the various dialogue mechanisms, strive for the early conclusion of the China-EU investment agreement negotiations, and to push for positive outcomes in their cooperation across the board.
Merkel noted the close high-level communication between Germany and China, the tremendous efforts made by China to contain the virus and the sound cooperation between the two countries in combating COVID-19. She said that Germany welcomes China’s commitment to further opening-up and will advance the bilateral cooperation in various areas. She commended China’s readiness to make its COVID-19 vaccine a global public good, and supported closer cooperation between the two countries’ vaccine developers. Noting that both Germany and China advocate taking forward multilateralism, she expressed a desire for closer communication and coordination between the two countries on WTO-related affairs. She said that under EU presidency in the second half of this year, Germany will work with China to make sound preparations for high-level EU-China exchanges, advance the existing dialogue mechanisms, speed up the investment agreement negotiations, strengthen tripartite cooperation among the EU, China and Africa against COVID-19, and seek further growth of Germany-China and EU-China relations.
Prior to the video meeting, the two sides held an online signing ceremony of bilateral cooperation agreements, including those on a training program for managerial personnel in small and medium-sized enterprises from China and Germany, on investment cooperation between JAC Motors and Volkswagen Group, and on a heavy-duty gas turbine test power station project between State Power Investment Corporation and Siemens.