Chinese premier, German chancellor hold phone talks on ties

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday held a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on bilateral relations.

After exchanging New Year’s greetings with Merkel, Li said China-Germany relations have developed well and the two countries will launch a China-Germany Year of Innovative Cooperation in 2015.

The two sides are also expected to hold a number of important events next year, including a high-level fiscal and financial dialogue and a dialogue on diplomatic and security strategies, he said.

He expressed the hope that China and Germany will take those events as an opportunity to push for new development in bilateral ties.

On the CeBIT 2015 to be held in the German city of Hanover, Li said China, attaching importance to the international IT expo, will actively participate in and lend support to Germany for hosting the annual event.

The Chinese premier also said German leaders are welcome to visit China next year.

On the third leaders’ meeting of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in the Serbian capital of Belgrade last week, he said China-CEE cooperation is an indivisible component for relations between his country and the EU and has benefited the two peoples.

Related cooperation will be conducted in accordance with the EU criteria and within the framework of the bloc’s laws and regulations, which is conducive to EU member nations’ balanced development and Europe’s integration process, he said.

Li noted that China attaches great importance to the development of its relations with the EU.

“China and the EU will mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to holding the 17th leaders’ meeting of China and the EU with its new leadership, and hopes Germany will play a more active role in advancing the in-depth development of China-EU relations,” he added.

Merkel thanked China for its support to CeBIT, saying Germany is willing to maintain close high-level exchanges with China.

She said she is expecting another visit to China next year to boost cooperation between the two countries.

Germany attaches importance to the mode of cooperation between China and CEE nations, which is in line with EU rules and in the interest of the bloc, she said.

Germany is willing to play an active role in pushing forward EU-China relations, Merkel said.

Source: Xinhua