Premier Wen Jiabao Holds Talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

On February 2, 2012, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council held both large-scale and small-scale meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Great Hall of the People. After the meetings, they jointly met with Chinese and foreign journalists.

The two prime ministers agreed that the bilateral relationship has witnessed great progress and reached a very high level since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Germany 40 years ago. It benefited the two peoples and is exerting an increasingly important influence on the world. The two sides decided to maintain high-level exchanges, jointly run large-scale events such as the "Year of Chinese Culture" and the Hannover Messe (Hannover Industrial Fair), fully implement the agreements and consensus reached at the first-round governmental consultations, and hold the second-round governmental consultations in the latter half of the year.

Premier Wen said that facing the current complicated international and regional situation, China and Germany need to strengthen strategic cooperation from a holistic and long-term perspective. First, the two sides need to work together to address the international financial crisis and the European debt crisis. It will be of great significance to maintaining international financial stability, promoting the steady recovery and sustained growth of global economy, and driving the reform of international economic and financial order. Second, the two sides need to promote the long-term, healthy and stable development of China-EU relations. China expects Germany to play a more active role in this regard. Third, the two sides need to strengthen communication and coordination on the settlement of regional hot-spot issues to jointly safeguard world peace and stability. Fourth, the two sides need to carry out more effective cooperation in addressing the global challenges such as climate change, non-traditional security, energy and food security and promote sustainable development.

Merkel first expressed her best wishes to the Chinese people in the auspicious Year of the Dragon. She said that Germany attaches great importance to Germany-China relations. Germany, in a future-oriented mind, wishes to strengthen exchange and dialogue with China, enhance mutual trust and carry out mutually beneficial cooperation on a higher level and in broader areas. Germany wishes to strengthen communication and coordination with China in international and regional affairs and push for new strides in bilateral relations. Germany is willing to play an active role in promoting the development of EU-China relations.

The two prime ministers had a frank and constructive exchange of views on a number of issues with a focus on the European debt issues. Premier Wen said against the backdrop of the grim world economic situation, it is very urgent and important to solve Europe's debt issues. China attaches great importance to the European debt issues from a strategic and holistic perspective. China supports the stability of the euro and has confidence in the European economy and the euro. China believes that Europe's position as an important pole in the world remains unchanged. Wen said that to solve the debt issues in Europe, EU's own efforts are fundamental and crucial. The Chinese side supports the efforts of the EU in response to the debt crisis. In addition to emergency relief measures, the European Union, as a whole, should continue to promote the institutional, structural and fundamental reforms in the fiscal, financial and other aspects and deliver consistent, clear, problem-solving ideas to the international community. Heavily indebted countries should make determined efforts and implement appropriate fiscal policies according to their national conditions. Meanwhile, the international community should join hands to deal with the debt crisis in Europe. China supports the IMF and other international financial institutions to play an important role. China is willing to work with all parties to enhance communication and jointly develop effective countermeasures. China is also considering more involvement in addressing the European debt issues through the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and other channels. Wen pointed out that solving the European debt issues is ultimately dependent on the strong and sustainable economic growth. China and EU, as the world's major economies and important trading partners, need to oppose all forms of protectionism, expand mutual investment, deepen cooperation in the fields of high-tech and emerging industries, and embark on the road of common development and prosperity.

Merkel introduced the update of the European economic situation and the latest development in addressing the debt issues in Europe. She said that Europe is taking positive countermeasures and making efforts to reduce the deficit, enhance economic competitiveness and coordination among the member states, and maintain the stability of the euro. The EU side thanked China for its valuable support. Germany is willing to work with China to strengthen communication and collaboration. The rapid growth of the Chinese economy will also provide European and German companies with more opportunities. The German side welcomes Chinese enterprises to expand investment in Germany and will continue to open its market to China.

The two prime ministers also exchanged views on the situation in West Asia and North Africa and other international and regional hot-spot issues.

Before the meetings, Premier Wen held a welcoming ceremony for Merkel at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. The meetings were attended by top Chinese officials including Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of Jiu San Society Lai Ming, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, National Development and Reform Commission Director Zhang Ping, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, Minister of Finance Xie Xuren, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan and China's Ambassador to Germany Wu Hongbo.

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