Premier's Germany trip helps boost China-Europe co-operation:expert
Chinese premier Li Keqiang's time in Germany is being hailed for the "twin engine" design in China-Germany ties, with officials saying the trip has injected stronger vitality into Sino-EU relationship.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend an autopilot cooperation exhibition between the two countries in Berlin, Germany, July 10, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]
Chinese premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have wrapped up the latest round of intergovernmental talks, overseeing the signing of a slew of deals covering technology, agriculture and the automotive industry.
More than 20 new contracts have been inked, valued at nearly 30 billion dollars.
Germany has been China's largest trading partner in Europe for 43 consecutive years.
Meanwhile, China remains Germany's top trading partner globally.
Liu Zuokui, senior researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says the close bilateral ties between the two should be maintained through free trade and an international market based on fair and generally accepted rules.
"The cooperation is currently developed under three concepts. The first is the deepening of reform and expansion of opening. The premier's visit to Germany sends out a strong signal of China's willingness on that front, which will optimize the investment climate and strengthen market access. It also offers new opportunities for Germany, and gives an impetus to the bilateral ties. The second is anti-trade protectionism. And the third are proposed measures to build up a new pattern of major-power diplomacy and a community of shared destiny."
As part of the talks, China and Germany have initially reached agreements to relax foreign ownership limits on German auto makers, as well as establish large-scale wholly-owned chemical companies in China.
Liu Zuokui says emerging industries, including new energy vehicles, are also being viewed as a solid base for cooperation.
"In fact, science and technology cooperation has been highlighted as a way to maintain a strong momentum of ties between two countries, especially in high-end equipment manufacturing, new technology and new energy industries. The cooperation achieved through Germany's Industry 4.0 strategy during the meeting will further clarify and consolidate the foundation, and prepare the ground for more cooperation in future."
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and European Union and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the China-EU leaders' meeting mechanism.
Liu Zuokui says the "twin engine" model China and Germany have developed will help increase trade ties among China and the rest of the European Union.
"Germany serves as an important engine for Europe and the European Union. Germany is China's largest trading partner in the region. In-depth cooperation with Germany will obviously help with trade among China and the EU. The 'two engines' have a great pushing effect. Failure of the relationships and a reduction of trade will weaken the bilateral ties. From this perspective, the China-Germany relationship is the top priority of China-EU ties."
This year's EU-China Summit is due to be held in Beijing later on this month.