China, Germany agree on deeper cooperation

Beijing, Oct 29 (IANS) China and Germany agreed to cooperate more as German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Beijing on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Li Keqiang accorded a red-carpet welcome to Merkel, who is on her eighth visit to China since 2005 in the capacity of chancellor, and then held formal talks with her, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two sides agreed to maintain frequent high-level contact, promote exchanges in various fields, improve coordination on major international affairs and seek more common interests in diplomacy and security.

The two also agreed to try to coordinate their economic strategies more, as China is pursuing similar programs to integrating conventional industry and information technology.

“We need to adopt advanced technology and concepts from Germany,” Li said, stressing that China offers a big market for the European economic powerhouse.

Merkel said she has confidence in China’s economy, believing the transformation of China’s growth mode will provide new opportunities for Germany-China cooperation.

The two government heads also touched on other economic topics including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), RMB internationalisation as well as cooperation between China and the European Union (EU).

She said Germany hopes China and the EU will sign a bilateral investment agreement at an early date, noting it is a prerequisite for a later China-EU Free Trade Agreement.

Li and Merkel further agreed to launch bilateral consultations on cyber affairs, boost local-level cooperation and expand people-to-people exchanges, especially among their young people.

Following their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of 13 deals between the two countries, concerning finance, transportation, communication and healthcare cooperation among other fields.

President Xi Jinping is also scheduled to hold a meeting with Merkel.

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