A Signed Article by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
On Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Germany
It is my great pleasure to visit Germany again in the early spring, a time of the revivification of nature.
I visited Germany five years ago. Back then, Europe was under the shadow of the international financial crisis. There were initial indicators of the emerging European debt issue, amid widespread predictions of doom and gloom about Europe. Despite all this, China decided without any hesitation to enhance its cooperation with Germany and Europe in general in an effort to overcome difficulties together with them. China has never lost confidence in the euro and has always firmly supported the European integration.
Five years later today, the European debt issue has eased off, the euro has remained strong and the European integration has made progress. Germany, the engine and anchor of the European economy, is leading Europe to an accelerated recovery. All these have not only shown we made the right decision back then, but have also attested to the depth of our mutual trust and the solid foundation of our cooperation.
The China-Germany cooperation has been founded on a profound and solid ground for the following reasons:
―The China-Germany cooperation represents exchanges and dialogue between two great civilizations. Located at the two ends of the Eurasian continent, China and Germany have each prominently embodied the Eastern or Western civilizations. The numerous ancient scholars and philosophers, profound philosophical thinking, rich and colorful literature and art that our two countries have been proud to have are an inexhaustible source of wisdom for our two countries to learn from, draw upon and share in our exchanges and cooperation.
―The China-Germany cooperation is a learning process for our two great nations. Our two nations have many fine qualities in common, such as diligence, modesty, earnestness and creativity, though we may not have the same history, traditions and development paths. All these have made it possible for our two peoples to better understand, live in amity with, respect and learn from each other.
―The China-Germany cooperation is also a process in which our two economic miracle creators work hand in hand and make progress together. Both being major trading nations and significant economies, China and Germany have long been economically interdependent and neither is dispensable to the other. Given the industrial development level, the size of the market and the pattern of demands, our two economies are highly complementary and promise a vast space for cooperation .
In recent years, the China-Germany cooperation has led the China-EU cooperation. Each day, the trade in goods between China and Germany accounts for about 1/3 of that between China and the EU which totals US$1.5 billion. Every week, there are over 70 flights connecting more than 10 cities of our two countries. Among the three rail links that have been built between China and Europe, two stretch to Duisburg and Hamburg of Germany respectively. Every year, there are one million tourists traveling between China and Germany. China and Germany have become each other’s largest trading partner in Asia and Europe respectively. Furthermore, enterprises of our two countries have made the other country their most important investment destination.
Up till now, more than 8,200 German companies and over 2,000 Chinese enterprises have established themselves in each other’s country. Our two countries have over 60 dialogue and cooperation mechanisms, including the governmental consultations, strategic dialogue and rule of law dialogue, which have been operating smoothly and have provided a forceful guarantee for continuous progress in China-Germany relations. Our two countries have also increasingly closely coordinated and cooperated with each other in major international issues, such as world peace, regional security, climate change, food security and sustainable development.
A new round of scientific and industrial revolution is just around the corner and countries around the world are trying to adjust or adapt themselves to the development and lose no time in introducing necessary reform measures. Against this backdrop, China has decided to follow the trend of the times, deepen reform comprehensively, and seize the historical opportunity to realize the modernization of the country and the renewal of the nation.
Last November, the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China adopted a comprehensive plan on deepening reform in all areas and a roadmap and timetable for the reform, which entails over 330 major reform measures in 15 fields. The comprehensive in-depth reform is designed to focus on the economic structure and put in place a single open market system featuring orderly competition, in which the market will play a decisive role in the allocation of resources and the government its due role properly. We will deepen institutional reform in all fields and go all out for upgrading the country’s governance systems and capabilities.
Germany has introduced the strategy of Industry 4.0 and vigorously optimized its energy mix. It has led Europe in consolidating its public finances. It has conducted structural reform, earnestly implemented measures of the Europe 2020 strategy and promoted the European integration. There will be more areas and new impetus for the China-Germany cooperation. Hence, China-Germany relations will be able to move from the current high level to a new stage of “precision running-in” and “seamless docking”.
Fundamentally, China-Germany cooperation is to serve the domestic development and improve the people’s lives of the two countries. Its future lies with the tangible benefits that the cooperation will bring to their peoples. There is no doubt that China’s market and Germany’s technologies, when working together, will greatly facilitate the economic growth and social development in China and Europe and bring many benefits to ordinary people. In the same vein, China’s speed and Germany’s quality, when working together, will create a huge space for the economic growth of China, Europe and the world.
China and Germany are the most important economies in Asia and Europe respectively. Greater integration of our two economies, or cooperation between strong growth poles in Asia and Europe, will greatly promote the formation of a big Asia-Europe market and the growth of the entire Eurasian continent, and will have a far-reaching impact on the world economy and the world trade structure.
Closer cooperation between China, a country that is committed to the path of peaceful development, and Germany will be in the interest of the formation of a multi-polar world and of world peace, stability and prosperity.
Friendship is based on mutual respect, trust and accommodation, so are state-to-state relations. What is lacking in deepening China-Germany relations in all areas is not converging interests or common goals, but courage, broad-mindedness and vision.
Let us understand and respect the basic system and development path chosen by each other’s people and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns. Let us go beyond simple business relations and add strategic dimensions to China-Germany cooperation with a more innovative and open mind. Let us properly handle our differences, if any, through friendly consultations and dialogue on an equal footing, and draw a blueprint for the future development of our bilateral relations with a broader mind and long-term vision. And let us work together to improve the international mechanisms and rules so that they will be fairer and more reasonable and in a better position to meet the needs of the times and the common aspirations of the international community.
This is the only way to enable the China-Germany cooperation vehicle to move faster and smoother.