November 2, 2001

Cultural Festival Fosters Ties, World Peace

Chinese and German officials reiterated their pledge to further economic co-operation between their two countries during the grand opening of the China Festival and Asia-Pacific Weeks Monday in Berlin.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder pledged in his speech to further develop ties with China in a bid to increase trade between the two countries and said Germany looks forward to China's imminent entry into the World Trade Organization.

He pointed out that the success of large German companies in China has helped maintain economic growth in Germany as well. However, he said medium-sized firms play an important role in Germany's development and should also venture into China.

In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks on the United States, the German Chancellor said cultural exchanges are key to fighting international terrorism.

Chinese delegation head Ding Guangen supported Schroder's remarks and reiterated China's firm stance in countering terrorism and safeguarding human security and world peace.

Ding, director of the National Ethic- and Culture Guiding Committee, said he hoped the introduction of Chinese culture in the Asia-Pacific Weeks will help the German people better understand China.

Festivals like the two-week Berlin Asia-Pacific Weeks are not only conducive to strengthening ties between countries, but also helpful in safeguarding world peace, Ding said.

Both Chinese President Jiang Zemin and German President Johannes Rau sent their congratulations to the Asia-Pacific Weeks with a pledge to promote the common ground between the two countries in the 21st century, Ding said.

(chinadaily.com.cn 09/18/2001)

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