Premier Wen Jiabao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Meet with Journalists

On February 2, 2012, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after their meetings at the Great Hall of the People, jointly met with Chinese and foreign journalists and answered their questions concerning China-Germany relations and other aspects.

With respect to China-Germany relations, Wen said that against the backdrop of the current complicated international and regional situation, China-Germany relations are blessed with rich strategic connotations. Deepening mutual trust and strengthening cooperation is not only in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples, but also conducive to world peace and development.

Wen said that the strategic connotations of China-Germany relations are reflected in five aspects. First, China-Germany relationship is built upon mutual respect and equality, with the goal to achieve common development, mutual benefit and win-win results. China and Germany have established a comprehensive strategic partnership and formed various mechanisms including governmental consultations and the human rights dialogue mechanism. These mechanisms are conducive to enhancing mutual trust and deepening cooperation. Second, the two sides joined hands to address the international financial crisis and the European debt issues. It is of great significance to maintaining international financial stability, promoting the steady recovery and sustained growth of global economy, and driving the reform of world financial and economic order. Third, China-Germany relations promoted the long-term, healthy and stable development of China-EU relations. Germany has a decisive influence in the European Union and can play an active role in this regard. The sound development of China-Germany relations is good for China-EU relations, while the other way round will only hurt China-EU relations. Fourth, the strategic connotations of China-Germany relations are reflected in addressing regional hot-spot issues. Although China and Germany have different views on some issues, both sides are willing to strengthen communication and coordination and play a constructive role in jointly safeguarding world peace and stability. Fifth, the strategic connotations of China-Germany relations are reflected in the promotion of sustainable development. China and Germany have extensive common interests on a number of issues such as addressing climate change, non-traditional security, energy and food security and may conduct more effective cooperation in these areas.

With respect to the debt crisis in Europe, Wen said the related Chinese administrations are conducting studies and assessments on specific contributive ways in IMF and more active participation in resolving the debt issues in Europe through the European Financial Stability Fund, the European Stability Mechanism and other channels.

Wen pointed out that Europe's own efforts are crucial. Heavily indebted countries need to make determined efforts and implement appropriate fiscal policies in accordance with their national conditions. In addition to emergency relief measures, the European Union, as a whole, should continue to promote the institutional, structural and fundamental reforms in fiscal, financial and other aspects and deliver consistent, clear, problem-solving ideas to the international community.

Wen said China is willing to strengthen communication with Germany through the existing bilateral financial cooperation mechanism and maintain close contacts with other interested parties. China hopes that EU could create an objective and positive environment and provide suitable investment products for the purposes of strengthening China-EU financial cooperation and joining hands to deal with the European debt issues.

With regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, Wen said that sanctions cannot resolve the Iranian nuclear issue in a fundamental way. The use of force will cause instability in the Middle East and the world, which would benefit neither side.

Wen said that the Iranian nuclear issue is complex and sensitive and affects international and regional peace, security and stability. China firmly safeguards the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and is against the possession of nuclear weapons by Iran or any other country in the Middle East. China believes that dialogue and cooperation is the only correct and effective solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

Wen said that China has been working diligently for promoting peace and advancing talks so as to bring the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany and Iran back to the talks quickly. China urges the International Atomic Energy Agency to strengthen cooperation with Iran. Iran has recently expressed its willingness to resume dialogues with the six countries. The most pressing matter of the moment is to seize the opportunity and find a comprehensive, long-term and proper solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogues and negotiations. The overall objective of China and Germany is aligned in this regard. The two countries should strengthen communication and coordination and jointly play a constructive role.

Wen said that China, proceeding from its own economic development needs, maintains normal energy and economic cooperation with Iran. China is opposed to politicizing the normal business exchanges. China carries out normal economic and trade exchanges with Iran, including crude oil trading. China will neither do things in violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions nor barter away principles. China believes that the normal economic and trade exchanges between countries should be protected.

For the investment from Chinese enterprises to Germany and Europe, Merkel said that Germany welcomes the Chinese investment in Europe and Germany. Europe and Germany will not politicize economic exchanges. Europe will not create a "wall of protectionism". The governments of Germany and China will promote bilateral trade and investment through cooperation.

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