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Xi Jinping Speaks with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany on the Phone

2022-12-20 23:55

On the evening of December 20, 2022, President Xi Jinping had a phone conversation with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the latter’s request.

Xi Jinping pointed out that this year is one of great significance for China-Germany relations, as it marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Thanks to the joint efforts of generations of Chinese and German leaders, China-Germany relations have generally developed in a positive direction, and the two countries have become all-round strategic partners. The development of China-Germany relations has been marked by solid public support, broad convergence of interests, and rich successful experience. So long as the two sides stay committed to mutual respect and win-win cooperation, China-Germany relations will surely be able to make steady and sustained progress on the right track. China is ready to work with Germany to elevate China-Germany relations to new heights and usher in another successful 50 years of bilateral relations.

Xi Jinping put forward a three-point proposal on the development of China-Germany relations in the next stage:

First, both sides maintain a proper basic perception of each other. China and Germany have always been partners of dialogue, development, and cooperation as well as partners for addressing global challenges. It is important that the two sides continue to build and expand consensus through dialogue, manage differences in a constructive manner, and further enrich their partnership.

Second, both sides maintain practical and open cooperation as the most important feature of bilateral relations. The trade volume between China and Germany has increased by 870 times over the past 50 years. The two sides should cherish the hard-won cooperation achievements, seek greater complementarity in market, capital and technology, scale up cooperation in traditional fields such as automobile, machinery and chemical industry, and tap the potential of cooperation in services trade, intelligent manufacturing, digitalization and other fields. China provides equal treatment to German enterprises investing in China, and hopes that Germany will provide a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises investing in Germany.

Third, China and Germany make joint efforts to guide sound and steady development of China-EU relations. China supports the strategic autonomy of the EU, and hopes that the EU will uphold the basic positioning of China-EU relations as strategic partnership, stay committed to mutual respect, mutual accommodation, practical cooperation and win-win results, and make sure that the China-EU relationship is not targeted at any third party, nor is it subjugated to or controlled by any third party. China expects Germany to continue to play an active role and work with China to promote the steady and sustained growth of China-EU relations.

Xi Jinping stressed that China is ready to carry out more extensive and in-depth cooperation with Germany in dealing with global challenges in the post-pandemic era, including sluggish economic recovery, climate change, and food and energy crises.

Steinmeier said that he was delighted to have a phone conversation with President Xi Jinping towards the end of the year, and recalled his visit to China four years ago which is still fresh in his memory. He noted that this year has witnessed extraordinary changes in the international situation, and also marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Over the past 50 years, Germany-China relations have become increasingly close, with rich and broad intension and extension, and bilateral cooperation has yielded fruitful results, bringing benefits to the two peoples. He said that Germany firmly pursues the one-China policy and stands ready to work with China to earnestly review and sum up the past, plan for the future, and continuously promote greater development of Germany-China relations in the spirit of mutual respect, openness and inclusiveness. He expressed full confidence in a bright future of Germany-China relations, noting that Germany is ready to work with China to strengthen exchanges and communication, hold a new round of consultations between the two governments in due course, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, maintain close consultation and coordination on regional hotspot issues, and better cope with common challenges such as biodiversity conservation, energy and food crises, keeping industrial and supply chains secure and stable, and promoting the recovery and growth of the world economy. Germany appreciates China's important contributions to the success of the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and stands ready to play an active part in promoting the development of EU-China relations.

The two sides also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis. Xi Jinping stressed that China stays committed to promoting peace talks, and believes that a protracted and complicated crisis is in no parties' interests. China supports the EU in demonstrating its strategic autonomy and in leading the establishment of a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture to realize enduring peace and long-term stability in the European continent.

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