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Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany

On the morning of May 24, 2018, Premier Li Keqiang held talks at the Great Hall of the People with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who was in China for an official visit.

Li Keqiang expressed that at present, China-Germany relations and cooperation in various areas show the sound momentum featuring comprehensive and in-depth development, with which the Chinese side is satisfied. The new governments of the two countries should make joint efforts and strengthen the planning to push bilateral relations and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields to higher stages on the basis of the existing high level.

First, both sides should give better play to the active role of bilateral institutional dialogues in various areas and well host the new round of China-Germany inter-governmental consultation to be held within this year. Both sides should conduct the all-round alignment, enhance communication and exchanges in such areas as finance, trade, investment and security as well as jointly formulate the new “roadmap” for bilateral cooperation in the future, in a bid to enable China-Germany cooperation to march towards higher levels and to delve into deeper realms.

Second, both sides should uphold two-way opening up and expand win-win cooperation. China welcomes German companies to continuously share the benefits of the opening up of the Chinese market. It is hoped that the German side will keep two-way opening up with China and create a fair and open environment as well as a stable institutional framework for Chinese enterprises to invest and start business in Germany and Europe.

Third, both sides should, led by digitalization and innovation cooperation, cement cooperation in emerging industry areas such as artificial intelligence, new energy vehicle, vehicle networking and automated driving. Both sides should tap into the potential for cooperation and research and development in such fields as intelligent manufacturing, discuss the joint construction of cooperation platform or research and development center, and support the scientific departments of both countries in discussing and signing the memorandum of understanding on innovation cooperation, so as to forge a “new engine” for bilateral cooperation.

Fourth, both countries should strengthen the integration of development strategies, give play to complementary advantages, carry out cooperation in third-party market, and discuss the first experiment and practice in Central and Eastern Europe and other regions to promote the development of both countries as well as countries in the region.

Fifth, both sides should practically promote the facilitation for personnel exchanges and expand exchanges in such areas as culture, education and tourism. The Chinese government supports the two countries’ plan of exchanging interns, and supports both countries in learning professional skills from each other and carrying forward the spirit of craftsmanship.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China and the European Union (EU) are two major forces in the world. China firmly supports the European integration process, and hopes to see a united, stable, open and prosperous EU. Under the current situation, the Chinese side looks forward to pushing the negotiations on China-EU investment agreement, and stands ready to work with the EU to actively advocate multilateralism, jointly safeguard the rules-based multilateral trade system, and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, so as to make contributions to world peace and development.

Li Keqiang stressed that this year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. Not long ago, President Xi Jinping sent a strong signal that China will further expand its opening up at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018, and China will open its door wider and wider. China has recently announced a series of important measures for the expansion of opening up, and will further ease market access in the next step, relax equity cap for joint ventures in automobile and finance industries in an orderly manner, enhance protection of intellectual property rights, and accelerate the building of a market environment that is in compliance with fair competition, laws and regulations, which will provide more opportunities for enterprises of Germany, Europe and countries across the world.

Angela Merkel expressed that it was her first visit to China after she took up the post of Chancellor of the new German government, and also the 11th visit to China as Chancellor of Germany. Germany pays high attention to its relations with China. It is very important for both sides to maintain intensified communication and speed up high-level mutual visits. This year, there will be a series of high-level exchanges between the two sides. She looks forward to holding a new round of Germany-China inter-governmental consultation in Germany in the near future. It is hoped that dialogues at various levels between the two sides will be held regularly. Germany stands ready to, together with China, strengthen cooperation in extensive fields such as economy, trade, science and technology and automated driving. Chinese enterprises are welcome to invest in Germany. Germany-China cooperation will make positive contributions to the world and multilateral order. Germany is willing to make efforts to promote the development of EU-China relations, and supports the advancement of the negotiations on the EU-China investment agreement. It is hoped that positive progress will be achieved at an early date.

Both sides also exchanged views on international and regional topics of common interest.

Prior to the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcoming ceremony for Angela Merkel at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Wan Gang attended the ceremony.

On that morning, Li Keqiang and Angela Merkel held a breakfast meeting, during which they exchanged in-depth views on China-Germany relations, China-EU relations and topics of common interest.

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